Senator Win Gatchalian welcomes the appointment of lawyer Monalisa Carneo Dimalanta as the new chairperson of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), replacing Atty. Agnes Devanadera who headed the agency for nearly five years.
Gatchalian, who has commended the ERC in many instances in the past, urges its new chief to carry out the same mandate in undertaking measures to protect electricity consumers.
The ERC has recently ordered power utility giant Meralco to refund some 21 billion peso-worth of overcollections for the period July 2015 to June 2022 which translates to a reduction of 87 centavos per kilowatt hour (kWh) in the electricity bills of residential consumers.
“I am looking forward to continued collaborative initiatives with the ERC under the new leadership of Atty. Mona Dimalanta. She is a good lawyer with good technical capabilities given her notable career in the energy sector,” Gatchalian said.
Just like the senator, the new ERC chief is also a staunch supporter of renewable energy as a former chairperson of the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB). She helped push the industry’s compliance to the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) policy of the Renewable Energy Act during her term at the NREB.
Atty. Dimalanta has worked with the Office of the Senator on multiple occasions during public consultations and committee hearings when Gatchalian was chairman of the Energy Committee. She helped steer the passage of various measures authored and co-authored by Gatchalian, specially the Microgrid Systems Act.
Her expertise in the energy sector has made her the top choice as legal counsel to major local and foreign players in the industry in the past. In fact, her leadership in many energy groups has earned her several international and Philippine awards and citations – one of which is a recognition as a “Market Leader” in the areas of Energy and Project Development. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, Dimalanta was one of the “Distinguished Representatives” for the 3rd Women in Renewables Asia of the Year Award.
“Atty. Mona has always been present in my committee hearings and Technical Working Group discussions when she was the NREB head. I hope that with her at the helm of ERC, we will continue to accomplish more great things together in promoting consumer interests, penalizing abuse of market power, encouraging market development, and promoting competition in the market,” said Gatchalian.
“Umaasa ako na sa bagong liderato ng ahensiya ay mas marami pa tayong polisiyang maipapatupad na magtataguyod ng kapakanan ng mga konsyumer, magpaparusa sa mga mapang abusong kumpanya, magsusulong ng pag-unlad ng merkado, at magtutulak ng kompetisyon sa lokal na merkado,” he added.