Cusi awaits PEMC comments before deciding Iemop’s fate

By Lenie Lectura -February 26, 2020
from Business Mirror

ENERGY Secretary Alfonso Cusi is close to making a decision on the issue involving the allegedly illegal creation of Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (Iemop).

He said last week that he has received a reply from Iemop after the DOE directed it and the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) to submit a performance report on the current electricity spot market structure.

“I asked Iemop and PEMC.  I’ve written them a memorandum to state their position and I got already the reply of Iemop and awaiting that of PEMC.  We will study. From there, I will make a decision,” said Cusi.

He did not reveal the contents of Iemop’s reply, saying he would rather “put it in writing so that there will be no misunderstanding.”

Also, the energy chief would have to wait for PEMC’s report. “PEMC asked for an extension. As soon as I get all information from the two concerned bodies I will make my decision,” said Cusi.

On the proposal raised by Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles to scrap Iemop, Cusi said, “I don’t want to comment on that on the basis of their, what do you call that, on the basis of the information I received.”

The lawmaker said the creation of Iemop was a result of a “sweetheart” deal because the selection for an Independent Market Operator to manage the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market [WESM] was conducted “without any competitive selection process [CSP].”

Nograles suggested the transfer of WESM operations back to PEMC.

He also alleged that Iemop grew “from a P7,000 capitalization to become a multimillion outfit with a total declared income of more than P100 million for the end of 2018.”

The DOE, PEMC and Iemop disputed these.

The DOE said a competitive bidding was required only for foreign participants as an option under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) if the IMO was created in 2007.

“The DOE opted to create a separate entity composed of Filipinos who have acquired the necessary expertise to operate the WESM and ensure that the market will be managed by Filipinos,” the agency said.