Ex-Aboitiz lawyer new ERC chief
BY CATHERINE S. VALENTE
The Manila Times
PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has appointed lawyer Monalisa Dimalanta as the new chairman of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Malacañang announced on Friday. The appointment letter signed by the President on August 1 gave Dimalanta a term of up to July 10, 2029 as head of the power industry regulator. Dimalanta replaced Agnes Devanadera, who was appointed by then-president Rodrigo Duterte to the post on Nov. 22, 2017. “She is an alumna of the University of the Philippines and was former chief legal counsel and compliance officer of Aboitiz Power Corporation,” Press Secretary Rose Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles said in a statement. “She had served as chairperson of the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB),” she added. The NREB is an entity that has been aiding the Department of Energy (DoE) in enticing renewable energy (RE) investments in the country. Under Dimalanta’s term, the NREB helped both the DoE and the ERC in sorting out details of the green energy auction program, which is underpinning the industry’s compliance with the renewable portfolio standards (RPS) policy of the Renewable Energy Act. The RPS prescribes that mandated participants — primarily the distribution utilities — will need to secure warranted percentage of their supply from RE capacities — to achieve the goal of the government for 35-percent RE in the energy mix by year 2035, and for it to be ramped up to 50 percent by 2040. Before taking the helm at NREB, Dimalanta was a senior partner at PJS (Puyat Jacinto & Santos) law firm, where she also served as legal counsel to various energy companies. She is also a professor at the Ateneo de Manila University Law School. Dimalanta is the second appointee in the energy sector whose previous work had been linked with Aboitiz Power — the first to be designated by the Marcos administration had been Energy Secretary Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla, who served as independent director in the board of the Aboitiz firm.