Police power vs. electricity industry

In Republic v. MERALCO,[1] the Supreme Court held that rate fixing calls for a technical examination and a specialized review of specific details which the courts are ill-equipped to enter, hence, such matters are primarily entrusted to the administrative or regulating authority.[2] It is undisputed that the  ERC has been designated under the EPIRA as the administrative body bestowed with broad regulatory powers and monitoring functions to ensure the successful restructuring and modernization of the Philippine electricity industry.For police power to be deemed as to have been validly exercised, it must have been necessitated and required by the interests of the consumers generally as this concept is primarily exerted to further the public welfare. The State thru the ERC should be able to exercise its police power with great flexibility when the need arises.[3]

Unusually high and unreasonable market prices may necessitate the ERC to step in and exercise its police power as mandated by the EPIRA.[4]


[1]449 Phil. 118(2003).

[2]Id. at 135.

[3]Concurring and Dissenting Opinion of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno in Freedom from Debt Coalition v. Energy Regulatory Commission, 476 Phil. 134, 239 (2004).

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