By Myrna M. Velasco
In the election that was held on Monday, former Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Executive Director Francis Saturnino C. Juan was selected as president of the newly incorporated Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMO), which shall be taking over the trading and related functions of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).
Juan, who also sat as chief operating officer (COO) of the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) transition committee, since end-July last year will have a term of one year in the IEMO.
Others that have been named in the IMO body are: Engineer Jose Mari T. Bigornia as COO; and other designated officers have been lawyer Carol Tan, Ralph Villanueva of the Philippine Military Academy-Class 1978, Lawyer Richard Nethercott; finance guy Johnny Tuason and Rodel Mangulabnan, who is known to be an information technology (IT) guy.
The end of the WESM Transition Committee will be June this year, hence, it is expected that Juan’s team will speed up processes so the new independent market operator (IMO) of the WESM can already take on its newly delegated function.
In this phase of restructuring of the power spot market, the IMO entity will already be separated from the PEM Board, which will then take supervision as well as recommend necessary rules market changes for the WESM.
In the afternoon, the PEM Board as the spot market’s governing body also had its board reconstituted – and the historic twist to that was witnessing Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi relinquishing his seat as the chairman of the board.
The hotly contested independent PEM Board seats were clinched by lawyer Oscar Ala, who was also the PEMC transition committee president; former ERC Commissioner Rauf A. Tan; economist Peter Wallace and Federation of Philippine Industries Chairman Jesus L. Arranza. The independent board directors were chosen from the 20 candidates nominated by various players and stakeholders of the energy sector.
The PEM will have 15 board seats, with various sectors of the industry ably represented in it. Juan, being the duly elected IEMO President, will automatically represent the market operator in the restructured PEM Board.