THE Energy Regulation Commission (ERC) said expediting the approvals process for power projects is expected to unlock about P200 billion worth of project proposals currently pending.
The commission said at its budget hearing before the House appropriations committee that it wants more personnel to process the applications. However, its proposed budget for personnel services was slashed to P256 million.
ERC Chairperson Agnes VST Devanadera told the committee she hopes the cuts are reconsidered.
“ERC will be able to deliver P200 billion worth of investments by accelerating the processing of applications, and thereby putting into the mainstream of our national economy what is pending with the ERC,” she testified Monday.
The commission had requested P450 million for its personnel services budget next year from P247.04 million this year.
The commission is looking to hire more employees next year to get more work done, ERC Commissioner Floresinda B. Digal said in a Viber message.
Overall, the Budget department is proposing an allocation of P564.88 million for the ERC in 2021, a 48% difference from its proposed budget. Ms. Devanadera said the cut will have a “direct impact” on its approvals process.
The House of Representatives is currently deliberating the government’s P4.5-trillion budget plan for 2021. Speaker Alan Peter S. Cayetano is looking to pass the proposed budget as early as October. — Adam J. Ang