PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte has signed into law a bill upgrading the powers of the Joint Congressional Energy Commission (JCEC), which exercises oversight over the industry’s compliance with energy laws.
Republic Act No. 11571 amends a section in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, giving the JCEC the authority to conduct hearings and receive testimony, reports, and technical advice; invite or summon any public official or private citizen to testify before it; and require any person to produce records or documents the body may require.
The commission is to be assisted by a secretariat “who may be seconded from the Senate and the House of Representatives and may retain consultants.”
The secretariat is to be headed by an executive director “who has sufficient background and competence on the policies and issues relating to electricity industry reforms.”
“To carry out its powers and functions, the initial sum of P25,000,000.00 shall be charged against the current appropriations of the Senate,” it said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza