Buseco petitions ERC to halt disconnection

AN OFFICIAL of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Tuesday said the Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative, Inc.(Buseco) has filed a dispute resolution case against the Bukidnon Sub-Transmission Corporation (BSTC) after the latter issued a notice to disconnect service to the former that will take effect on September 15.

Lawyer Floresinda Digal, Director III Regulatory Operations Service, said Buseco filed the case on September 9 and the case is presently being processed to determine the next course of action.

Digal said Buseco wants the ERC to issue a cease and desist order directing the BSTC not to disconnect Buseco on September 15 and on any other date until the ERC makes a ruling on the validity of the rate application of BSTC.

Digal also said the BSTC claims that there was a connection agreement executed last July 2015.

"This is alleged only in the petition, we still need to check whether this was approved or if it even needs commission approval," Digal said.

Digal said under ERC Resolution 15, series 2011, “they are allowed to use ERC approved rates within six months from turn-over of the asset.”

Residents and commercial establishments under Buseco’s service area have been worried over the possible blackouts beginning on September 15 after the BSTC implements a disconnection notice due to the supposed failure of Buseco to settle its obligations with BSTC.

Buseco service area includes Malaybalay City, Lilingayon, Valencia City; towns of Lantapan, Cabanglasan, Impasug-ong, Sumilao, Manolo Fortich, Malitbog, Libona, Baungon, and Talakag.

Buseco, meanwhile, has said that it did not miss settling its payables to BSTC.

Buseco clarified that it was unable to pay the connection charges and residual sub-transmission charges because the contract between the Buseco and BSTC regarding its sub-transmission connection agreement already expired last January 25, 2016.

Digal said the ERC is still reviewing the said connection agreement.
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