MANILA -- Malacañang is not allowing the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to be paralyzed and assures the public the executive branch is studying all options to address the problem inside the agency.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this assurance on Tuesday in response to ERC chair and chief executive officer Agnes Devanadera's earlier warning of massive blackouts following the year-long suspension of all ERC commissioners by the Office of the Ombudsman, which she said would lead to “severe paralysis” of the country's power industry.

Citing Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Roque said in a radio interview Malacanang is studying the issue carefully, including the basis of the Ombudsman to suspend ERC Commissioners Alfredo Non, Gloria Yap-Taruc, Josefina Patricia Magpale-Asirit, and Geronimo Sta. Ana, and whether President Rodrigo Duterte would terminate them.

But Roque claimed the problem lies with the fixed term of those at the ERC.

He added the option raised by Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo to appoint an officer-in-charge might be feasible.

"Isang posibilidad din po. Pero ang malinaw po hindi po pupuwedeng ma-paralyze ang ERC dahil napaka-importante po ng papel na ginagampanan ng tanggapan na iyan (That's a possibility. But what is clear is that ERC cannot be paralyzed because of the office's very important role.)," he said.

He said the President would do something about it and they just could not just disregard the suspension order on the officials because the office would get paralyzed.

Roque supports Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Attorney Sal Panelo's suggestion to have an OIC appointed to ERC. (PNA)