WESM operator on rebirth with new corporate entity

By Myrna M. Velasco – April 4, 2018 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin

The operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) will have its rebirth via a new corporate entity – the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMO) – that is anticipated to have its industry debut by June this year.

According to Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) transition committee Chief Operating Officer Francis Juan, the new WESM IMO is still undergoing process of registration at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The new WESM IMO’s functions shall be carved out from the broad mandate first bestowed upon PEMC when it was still under the government’s supervision.

With the IMO for the spot market finally getting concretized, PEMC will now just take on governance function of the WESM – and there are industry reports that this governing entity may also be renamed Market Governance Corporation (MGC).

Juan emphasized though that PEMC will be retained, stressing that “we will just apply for SEC approval of the amendments of its articles to reflect that it is purely a governance body for WESM.”

For the IMO, seven incorporators had been named by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi last February, following a whole-day consultation with industry stakeholders.

They comprise of PEMC’s transition committee members led by President Oscar Ala, then Juan, Rauf Tan, Jose Layug, Jose Mari Bigornia and lawyers Ann Garcia Matibag and Carol Tan.

The energy chief has also extended the tenure of the WESM transition committee until end-June this year, purposively for the team to complete the phase of incorporation and shift of the WESM’s operatorship to the IMO.

Following that process, a new president of the re-generated PEMC will also have to be designated along with the Board members that shall govern and oversee the operations of the spot market.

It took roughly 12 years before the independent operator of the WESM had come into being, way past the one-year timeframe that should have been heeded according to the intent and spirit of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

Prior to the June 30, 2018 deadline for the IMO’s commercial kick-off, it has been prescribed that PEMC shall enter into an “Operating Agreement” with the IEMO to define as well as delineate the functions and sharing of facilities of both entities.