ERC braces for digitized transactions

Amid tighter restrictions, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is gearing up for digitized transactions at the agency.

The ERC, in a statement on Wednesday, said it has had initial efforts in place to enable paperless or digital transactions.

“The commission has gradually shifted to and adapted digital technologies and online systems as part of our compliance with the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (Evoss) law. The ERC has been part of the Evoss Web portal and we see to it that we adhere to the requirements, especially with respect to the time frames in acting on applications filed with the agency, as specified in the said law,” said ERC Chairperson Agnes Devanadera.

In October last year, the ERC promulgated “A Resolution Adopting the Guidelines Governing Electronic Applications, Filing and Virtual Hearings Before the Energy Regulatory Commission.”

This resolution has enabled the regulatory agency to perform its mandate safely and continuously even during emergency situations such as public health emergency due to coronavirus pandemic.

“With the said Guidelines in place, the ERC was able to optimize the use of online platforms and even surpassed its 2019 accomplishments,” it said.

In line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive, the ERC has dedicated a team to facilitate the processing of permit applications for permanent power connections, consider in the policy formulation the power capacity requirements of telecommunications infrastructure, and inspect the absorptive capacity of electric companies and cooperatives in providing power requirements.

“We are confident that the ERC is prepared to go digital. We have a digitally-skilled workforce, a robust information system, and a digital-ready work processes that are in place to successfully adapt to the ‘new normal’ environment,” Devanadera said.