Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said Wednesday it will exhaust all measures and work with industry stakeholders to find ways to mitigate the impact of the Court of Appeals’ issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction on a 670-megawatt supply deal with a power unit of San Miguel Corp.
Meralco said in a statement it would ensure the continued delivery of stable and reliable power to 7.6 million customers following the CA ruling.
The company said it received the CA’s 13th Division’s decision granting the WPI sought by South Premiere Power Corp. on the 2019 power supply agreement.
The WPI stopped Meralco from implementing the order of the Energy Regulatory Commission to honor their fixed-rate PSA. “With the WPI, implementation of the PSA will remain suspended until such time that the court resolves the petition for certiorari filed by SPPC,” the company said.
SPPC cannot be compelled to continue to supply Meralco under the 2019 PSA following the CA decision.
Meralco said it would continue to source power from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, the trading floor of electricity where prices are more volatile, until it finds a new supplier to bridge the supply gap.
SPPC ceased to supply Meralco starting Dec. 7, 2022 following the CA’s grant of a 60-day temporary restraining order last year.
“Meralco maintains its position that preserving the PSA serves the best interest of its customers as this would protect them from potentially higher electricity rates,” Meralco said.
ERC chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta said the regulator was seeking guidance from its legal counsel, the Office of the Solicitor General, on the latest CA resolution.
The CA’s 13th Division granted the WPI in favor of SPPC, while the 16th Division earlier denied the injunction plea of San Miguel Electric Co. relative to a similar PSA.
“As of today, the OSG has not yet received a copy of the writ of preliminary injunction, if indeed it has already been issued to SPPC. The 13th Division ordered SPPC to post a P100-million bond to cover any damages that may result from the WPI should the court later decide against SPPC,” Dimalanta said.
The CA said the grant of the WPI suspends the continued implementation of the PSA but does not terminate it.
“This is to allow the parties to negotiate the terms of the PSA,” according to the CA ruling signed by Associate Justice Mary Charlene Hernandez-Azura and concurred by Associate Justices Victoria Isabel Paredes and Florencio Mamauag Jr. on Jan. 25.