A lawmaker asked the Philippine Competition Commission to investigate the role of Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines as the sole operator of Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles questioned the transfer of the operations of WESM, the country’s trading floor of electricity, to IEMOP from the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. without going through the PCC.
Nograles sent a letter to PCC to seek clarification on whether IEMOP complied with the provisions of the Competition Law. He said he was initially informed that the transaction was not covered by the law.
“Why is it not covered because they are the sole market operator for the sole WESM, they are a monopoly, and they are not covered by PCC. So I replied to them again,” Nograles said.
He said that while the transaction did not meet certain criteria such as asset size and transaction value, the fact that IEMOP is the sole operator of the WESM should be looked into.
“The exemption is the motu proprio power of PCC where even if they fail, the fact that control being the most important, and can be the overriding principle in the whole test,” Nograles said.
Nograles said the operating agreement between PEMC and IEMOP was “void ab initio” or invalid from the very beginning.
“There are clear bases to prompt the Department of Energy headed by Secretary Alfonso Cusi to terminate the highly anomalous PEMC-IEMOP deal,” he said.
He said IEMOP, which was created with a paid-up capital of P7,000, was collecting at least P3 million a day from electricity consumers without the approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission.
Nograles said IEMOP should stop operating and PEMC should be restored as market operator as the transfer did not undergo competitive selection process or bidding.
“Return it to PEMC because I believe that market operations is void from the start. Back to PEMC and from there Congress is willing to review and revisit the IRR of EPIRA to see what is implementable and what is not implementable as far as the market operator is concerned and how to fix that and erase all doubts,” Nograles said.
He said the transfer of operations of IEMOP had numerous legal questions.
“Question is not the existence of PEMC but existence of IEMOP and how IEMOP got it without CSP. All explanations are not acceptable so return it and go back to status quo,” Nograles said.
He said the House energy committee would come out with a report on whether some personalities involved in the IEMOP-PEMC deal were liable for graft or plunder.
“We will leave that to the Ombudsman,” Nograles said.