Teresa Electric and Power Co. v. Public Service Commission (G.R. No. L-21804)

Facts:

Petitioner is a domestic corporation operating an electric plant in Rizal under a subsisting certificate of public convenience and necessity. Respondent Filipinas Cement, a domestic corporation engaged in the manufacture and sale of cement, filed an application with the PSC for a CPC to install, maintain and operate an electric plant for the purpose of supplying electric power and light to its own factory and compound. Petitioner opposed alleging that it is the duly authorized operator of electric light. Respondent contends that the electric service will be limited to its exclusive needs without affecting the interests and services of petitioner.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent Filipinas is a public utility that must be granted first legislative franchise to operate an electric plant.

Ruling: NO.

The above requirements show that the act was intended to apply exclusively to any person or corporation who desires a franchise to construct and maintain an electric line or power plant and line for business purposes, that is, to render service to the general public at such rate of compensation as may be approved and regulated by the government. Clearly, therefore, it should not be made to apply to Filipinas who applied for a certificate of public convenience and service to operate and maintain an electric plant exclusively for its own use in connection with the operation of its cement factory and for the use of its employees living within the compound of the factory — the latter to receive service free of charge. It is, consequently, our view that all that Filipinas needs for the purpose above mentioned is a certificate of public convenience and necessity such as the one granted to it by the respondent Public Service Commission.

While it is true that operators of public convenience and service deserve some protection from unnecessary or unlawful competition, yet the rule is that nobody has any exclusive right to secure a franchise or a certificate of public convenience. Above any or all considerations, the grant of franchises and certificates of public convenience and service should be guided by public service and interest; the latter are the primordial considerations to be taken into account.

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