Press Release
June 21, 2011


Chicago, Illinois - Senator Edgardo Angara reiterated his strong objection to Republic Act 9136, the measure extending the term of the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC), which is scheduled to be signed into law today.

The JCPC was tasked to oversee implementation of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, through which it was created, as well as initiate reforms in the country's electric power industry.

R.A. 9135 will extend the term of the JCPC, also called the Powercom, for another 10 years with the stated objective of ensuring that the goals and objectives of the EPIRA and the Renewable Energy Act are fully achieved.

Angara voted against the passing of the bill in the Senate, maintaining that it is an encroachment on the powers of the executive and is unconstitutional.

"The JCPC does not merely act as an oversight committee, contrary to its legislative mandate. Its functions are matters of implementation, and therefore executive in nature," stressed the veteran lawmaker, who is in the United States on an official mission as part of the Department of Tourism road show.

The JCPC's goals include implementing retail competition and open access on distribution wires; forming an independent market operation; and establishing a feed-in-tariff system under the Renewable Energy Act.

According to Angara, "Possibly one reason why JCPC has failed to accomplish its duties under EPIRA in the last 10 years is because it is ill-equipped to do so because these concern the execution of the law itself - a power which properly belongs to the Executive."

The JCPC, which will complete its first 10-year mandate by June 26, has been largely criticized for its failure to demonopolize the power industry and to make electricity more affordable to consumers.

"There is absolutely no good reason or satisfactory justification for extending the term of the Powercom," stressed Angara.

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