THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will pursue its own digitalization program to enhance its operating efficiency and help their manpower to handle effectively its huge tasks and responsibilities.
Monalisa Dimalanta, ERC chairman, told reporters in a recent breakfast forum held in Quezon City, that they have requested P15 million for the Department of Budget and Management to fund their digitalization program.
She said the ERC proposed a P1.2 billion budget for 2023. “The bulk of the budget goes to the salaries of personnel and followed by the minimum operating expenses (MOE). So far, 40 percent of the digitalization budget will go to data that needs to be digitized. We also need to digitalize so we can handle the 2,824 pending cases,” Dimalanta explained.
To stress her point that ERC needs to go digital, Dimalanta said it took a long time for ERC to resolve a single case “One complaint filed in 2003 was resolved in 2023,” she said.
“We need to digitalize our approach. There are cases that don’t require lengthy trials,” she added.
In the age of automation, Dimalanta said the ERC needs to step up and utilize digital technologies as enablers in doing their jobs.
“If you rely on human beings on a 24-hour job program, they can do so much in 24 hours. If we multiply 313 x 24 hours, you can only do so much.”
ERC has a total of 313 personnel.
Digitalization of the ERC will be in three phases. The first stage will involve digitizing the data, and the ability to develop reports based on the data. The goal is to provide real time information on quarterly reports on the generation rates because prices of coal go down. She said this is important because the reports are done on a regular basis.
The second aspect will deploy artificial intelligence and machine learning to help ERC personnel settle the pending cases.
The final phase will involve the teaching, promoting and implementing cyber hygiene to the stakeholders as a proactive measure to minimize cyber-hacking against the threat actors.
According to Dimalanta, going digital will help the ERC “to create a regulatory environment that is democratic and transparent, and one that equitably balances the interests of both the consumers and the utility investors.”