Duterte asked to fill up vacancies at ERC

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

President Duterte is being asked to temporarily fill up the four vacancies at the Energy Regulatory Commission, using career insiders without any pending legal cases, to ensure the smooth flow of decisions, policies and actions by the agency.

 

In a statement, Rep. Bernadette Herrera Dy, chairman of the committee on public information and member of the energy committee, asked the closest advisers of the President to suggest to the Chief Executive applying Sections 16 and 17 of the Administrative Code of 1987 to address the current four vacant commissioner positions at ERC.

 

 Sections 16 and 17 of Chapter 5 of the Administrative Code of 1987 allow for temporary appointments lasting up to one year.

 

The EPIRA Law, which includes the revised charter of the ERC (Chapter IV), does not provide for appointments in case of temporary vacancy, in which case, it is the Administrative Code that would apply.

 

She suggested that two of the temporary appointees be chosen from among the ranking career civil servants of the ERC who have no pending Ombudsman or court cases involving corruption, and that the two other temporary appointees may be borrowed either from other energy agencies or from the University of the Philippines on secondment.

 

In addition, the temporary appointees ought to possess the qualifications similar to those of ERC commissioner as stated in the EPIRA Law (RA 9136). Related to this is another factor to consider are the terms of the appointment of the suspended ERC commissioners.

 

If one or some of them have terms expiring within the one-year suspension from the Ombudsman, then it would save the government a lot of trouble or hassle later on if one or some of the temporary appointees could be given permanent appointments effective the day after the expiration dates.

 

To address the immediate matters of quorum and continuity of operations, the immediate temporary appointment of two qualified persons would be in order. This is the urgent part.

 

The other two may be appointed several weeks later.

 

Effective decision makers who solve problems, produce results, and do so with fairness are what the ERC needs.

 

 

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