DOE: Consumers should be free to choose power provider

MANILA -- The Department of Energy (DOE) said Thursday consumers should have the freedom to choose their power provider.

The department made the statement after the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order against the implementation of the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA), a key provision of Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 or EPIRA.

In a news release, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the DOE is duty-bound to implement the law, which seeks to uphold the freedom of choice of consumers and to promote market competition.

"The provisions in the EPIRA mandate the DOE to ensure the security, reliability and availability of transparent and reasonably-priced electricity in the country. One of the provisions of the law is the implementation of the Retail Competition and Open Access, which allows consumers to directly contract power supply from licensed retail electricity suppliers," he said.

Cusi noted that the spirit of the RCOA is to give the consumers the freedom of choice, which would result in higher productivity for them, and the power of choice can only be maximized when there is a level playing field for all suppliers.

"It is hoped that whatever the decision by the Supreme Court, it will redound to the ultimate benefit of the consumers, which is really the intent and the spirit of RCOA," the energy chief said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency