Republic of the Philippines


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ERC Tells VECO: Investigate and Act on Reported Extortions

In a communication recently sent to the Visayan Electric Company, Inc. (VECO), the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) directed the former to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of the alleged rampant extortion gathered in the field and posted on social media.

“The number of incidents reported to the Commission which involved either VECO contractors or volunteers or both allegedly extorting money from VECO’s consumers to expedite the restoration of their electricity is alarming and needs the immediate appropriate action by VECO.  Thus, we have directed VECO to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of the matter and submit the result to the Commission in writing within fifteen (15) days from receipt of our directive”, ERC Chairperson and CEO Agnes VST Devanadera said.

ERC also directed VECO to include in its report the actions taken against those involved, if any, and the measures put in place to prevent extortion from being committed.  Accordingly, VECO was also instructed to expedite the restoration of electricity in its franchise area and inform ERC and its consumers of the progress of its restoration, including the challenges encountered.

The Commission received reports through various platforms, notably from social media, that the delay in restoring electricity in Cebu is not due to the damaged distribution lines but due to the alleged rampant bribery and corruption of some people who prioritize the restoration of electricity of those who offer money.  

“These reports of alleged extortion are truly disturbing and we cannot just disregard or take these things sitting down.  We enjoin VECO to use the necessary means to obtain a thorough, comprehensive, and unbiased finding/s, including the use of witnesses’ testimony when available”, ERC Chair Devanadera added.


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