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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, December 8, 2012
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ERC no show at hearing

Intervenors and oppositors were disappointed when the Energy Regulatory Commission did not send any representative to the technical hearing scheduled yesterday at the Central Negros Electric Cooperative office in Bacolod City on the application of CENECO for approval of under-recoveries totaling P414.6 million.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said yesterday that they will file a strong manifestation expressing their disappointment at the ERC for not coming to the hearing.

Colmenares said they were informed only yesterday that ERC had called up CENECO Thursday evening to request if the hearing could be held only by the electric cooperative and the stakeholders without a presiding officer from ERC.

He said that it was surprising and strange since they were the once who had set the technical hearing so the issues can be resolved.

There are many things they want clarified like the implementation of the formula, so there will be no disagreements during the hearing proper, Colmenares added.

Permits and Licensing Division head Vicente Petierre III, who represents the city, said he was also disappointed to see no one at the CENECO annex building yesterday when he arrived at 9 a.m. and that they were not notified that ERC was not coming.

He said even CENECO employees were not aware of any scheduled hearing, and CENECO president Arnel Lapore was also at a loss.

Since there were no representatives from CENECO and ERC at the venue, Petierre said he left at about 9:10 a.m. with Colmenares.

He said the purpose of the hearing was for technical issues regarding the P414.6 million under recoveries to be clarified.

If the intervenors will question the formula used to come up with the computation of P414.6 million, who will answer it? He asked.

Petierre also said they will file a manifestation through the Mayor that they should be properly informed of any development on the matter.

Lapore said he will also request their lawyer, Ditas Amboy, to file a motion requesting ERC to send a technical person who can explain the principle or methodology for under- or over-recoveries.

Lapore said that, although CENECO is ready to make a presentation, it would be a useless exercise since there is no one from the ERC who will preside over the hearing. For CENECO to do it will be self-serving, he added.

ERC was able to come up with Resolution 16 Series of 2009, regarding over/under recoveries in the implementation of automatic cost adjustments and true-up mechanisms and corresponding confirmation process, so it should explain the principle or content of the resolution, Lapore said.

He also said that if ERC can clarify this, CENECO can continue to present its evidence by providing the data being required under the template that was provided by the ERC to all electric cooperatives all over the country, and not only to CENECO.*CGS

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