An official of the Department of Energy (DOE), who reportedly resigned recently from his post, is well anticipated by power industry players as the next president of the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC), which is the governance body of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

That expectation, according to highly placed industry sources, was intensified after the July 1 nomination of former DOE Assistant Secretary Leonido J. Pulido III as independent director of the PEM Board.

The election of the next president will be from the roll of elected directors into the board of PEMC – and the voting is tentatively targeted by July 12 this year.

Aside from Pulido, the other candidates as independent PEM Board directors are Elvin Hayes E. Nidea; Fortunato C. Leynes; Jesus L. Arranza; Maila G. De Castro; Peter L. Wallace and Nieves L. Osorio, who previously served as president of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation.

As a governance body for the WESM, PEMC is the entity that takes charge of filing applications with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the market fees that shall be collected from trading participants in the spot market.

By far, it is the legally recognized entity that can collect the market fees –then it is also the one bestowing the required budget of WESM operator Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP), but that manner of budget sharing is being rapped to be bordering on ‘graft and corruption’ that is happening with the imprimatur of the Department of Energy (DOE) – since as reckoned on the current stature of PEMC, it is a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) based on an Executive Order (EO) previously issued by the Aquino administration.

Being a GOCC, PEMC is not legally authorized then to give or pass-on a budget to IEMOP without going through acceptable legal processes – like a competitive bidding for the engagement of an independent market operator (IMO) for the WESM; or a remedial measure like a new EO or Presidential order that could have re-classified PEMC first from its GOCC stature.

Until this point, the ERC is not formally acknowledging non-profit IEMOP as the proper entity that shall be lodging application for WESM market fees – given pending cases questioning its legal standing as operator of the spot market.

With the graft allegations on IEMOP’s creation getting resuscitated by Senator Manny Pacquiao, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi defended that “there was no corruption in the establishment of the IMO,” as he emphasized that such act had been in compliance with the prescriptions of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

Cusi thus challenged the lawmaker to prove the allegations “with substantial and convincing evidence.”

At this point, there are also questions on the current leadership at IEMOP, since the initial plan was just for them to stay during a ‘transition year’, but as it appears, there’s already perpetration of their reign at the spot market’s helm.

Source: Manila Bulletin (