Cusi installs new 5-man team for WESM management

By Myrna M. Velasco – July 28, 2017, 10:00 PM

from Manila Bulletin

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, who also sits as board chairman of the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC), has installed new transition management team for the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) starting August 1 this year.

Following the acceptance of resignation of PEMC President Melinda L. Ocampo, former Energy Regulatory Board Chairman Oscar Ala will take over as President and Chief Executive Officer at PEMC, the electricity spot market operator.

The transition team will last for seven months or until March next year, while the spot market is being advanced into its foray into full private sector-led operation via the appointment of an independent market operator (IMO), a long-delayed development awaited for the WESM’s phase to maturity.

Ala will be joined in the transition team by former Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Commissioner Rauf Tan to handle policy reviews; former ERC Executive Director Francis Saturnino Juan as Spokesman and to take charge of operational matters; Engineer Jose Mari T. Bigornia for Operations and Technical Matters; and Jose Layug for Human Resources and Policy Matters.

Most of the names in the transition team are “old timers” in the industry, giving level of comfort to industry players then that the market operations would not turn wobbly while traversing operational changes.

The planned transition team has long been spinning as industry talks, but it took a bit of time for Cusi to advance this proposition.

WESM is currently undergoing several changes on its operations, including its shift into new market management system (NMMS) on the trading platform and the recent launch of the WESM in Mindanao grid.

Additionally, players in the power industry have turned eagle-eyed on how market fees are being spent as these have been thrown into the controversy hounding some officials of the ERC, the electricity sector’s regulating agency.

Beyond this temporary management, Cusi has also been fleshing out changes in the PEM Board, which he hinted to the media will be installed soon, albeit he has not given any timeframe yet.

It was gathered that the four seats for power generation companies (GenCos) had been hotly contested, although initially, it was indicated that one will already be allotted for the organization of the independent power producers.