The Philippines highest court, the Supreme Court en banc issued a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Manila Electric Company’s (Meralco) P4.15 per kilowatt hour rate increase.
According to PhilStar.com, the Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te said that the Supreme Court has set the oral arguments on January 21 to discuss the staggered rate hike that started this month.
The Supreme Court clarifies, however, that the TRO does not cover Meralco’s bills for the month of December 2013.
The TRO of the Supreme Court, stemmed from two consolidated petitions questioning the validity of the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) implementation of the record rate increase starting December 9, 2013.
Militant lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc of the House of Representatives filed a cl(–foul word(s) removed–) suits to the Supreme Court together with private organizations led by the National (–foul word(s) removed–)ociation of Electricity Consumers for Reforms.
The third petition was filed by militant groups led by Anakpawis requesting the Court to issue a writ of mandamus against the price increase.
On Friday night, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) ordered Meral not to implement further increase in its generation charge for January 2014 after the increase in the generation charge for December 2013 of P3.44 per kilowatt-hour.
The Department of Justice on their part through Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, said that even with the Court’s TRO, the agency’s Office for Competition (OFC) will push through with the investigation on whether the suppliers were in cahoots to force the rate increase.