Change in electricity spot market operator pushed
Management and operation of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market should go back to Philippine Electricity Market Corp., according to Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party list Rep. Jericho Nograles as he sustained his push for the cancellation a contract with the Independent Electric Market Operator of the Philippines (Iemop).
In a media forum held Friday, Nograles reiterated his call for the Department of Energy (DOE) to scrap the deal with Iemop, arguing that this was invalid from the start.
In a hearing held earlier at the House of Representatives, the lawmaker questioned why PEMC transitioned into a private entity from a government-owned and -controlled corporation.
He said this change was out of order considering that it did not have the approval of President Duterte as was the proper procedure.
But on Friday, he said he was amenable to PEMC to resume management of WESM.
“I don’t see it a problem [if this reverted to] PEMC because it is not about who is running the market,” he said. “It is the legality of the juridical entity that’s running the market.”
Nograles maintained that Iemop was questionable considering that its capitalization was only P7,000 and yet it was collecting hundreds of millions for operating the WESM.
He said he has taken this up with Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, whom he said gave him assurance that the matter was being looked into.
“But I told him that Congress will not wait for his action because Congress is by itself independent,” Nograles said.
“So if you (Cusi) see that it has to be resolved soon on your end, you must resolve it quickly,” he added. “And Congress will continue to investigate it at its own [faster] pace.”
Also last week, Iemop chief operating officer Robinson Descanzo said that Iemop was formed as a result of a DOE circular, which was meant to effect a transition of WESM operations under private, independent hands.
“Iemop’s thrust is to manage the spot market efficiently in response to the needs of market participant,” Descanzo said.
“If ever there will be a change in policy, Iemop will follow whatever that policy is,” he added. “And whatever issue we hear, the [WESM] operation should continue because this is a vital function, it should not be affected by any leadership issues.”
Earlier, it was reported that the wife of a ranking energy official also headed Iemop. INQ
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