Comments and Recommendations on the Republic Act No. 9135 or
the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA)
The country is deep in the midst of a global energy crisis. The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) echoes the sense of urgency conveyed by the government and colleagues in the power sector to address the high cost of electricity and persistent supply and reliability challenges hounding the country’s power system as cited in the Luzon Power Outlook Report.
The vulnerability of the country to volatility in the global fuel price regime and domestic supply insecurity is largely due to the energy sector’s outdated bias for large scale, rigid, centralized generation. As our studies have repeatedly demonstrated, what the country’s power sector needs desperately is flexible and distributed generation able to produce adequate power whenever and wherever it is needed.
If the country were to fully utilize its abundant indigenous renewable energy potential, anti-competitive mechanisms which provide undue advantage to fossil fuel plants must be discarded. Our country needs a genuinely competitive energy market that encourages investments and targeted interventions to dramatically increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix, establish energy security, and minimize the country’s exposure to fuel price volatility. Reliable, secure, and affordable power, as well as consumer protection, must be the top priority of energy regulators.
The country can overcome global energy crisis impacts by maximizing its renewable indigenous energy resources to protect itself from external and internal threats to its energy security.
While ICSC concurs with the need to strengthen EPIRA to provide every Filipino with clean, affordable, secure, and reliable energy for every Filipino, we believe that amendment of the law is not warranted at this time. The perceived infirmities in the law could be better and quickly addressed by amending the IRR and circulars issued to implement the EPIRA provisions.