By Myrna M. Velasco
A legally sanctioned Operating Agreement (OA) has been cemented between the restructured Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) and newly constituted Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) to substantiate the next cycle of operations of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).
The operating pact of the two entities had been sealed between PEMC Chairman Noel V. Aboboto with President Oscar E. Ala; and IEMOP Chairman Ralph A. Villanueva with President Francis Saturnino C. Juan.
Effectively, the OA is the ultimate legal document that the IEMOP shall be requiring so it can already legitimately and physically take over the market operations sphere of the country’s electricity spot market.
PEMC’s function then will be as a governing body overseeing compliance of market participants and will similarly assess required rule changes and other necessary imperative policies so market abuses can be prevented in the WESM.
IEMOP’s market operations task had been carved out from the old PEMC – and that happened following the mandate then from Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi to finally place the WESM’s operations unto the hands of the private sector.
The operating agreement then will detail out the delineation of work spaces of the two companies; the sharing of logistics and human resources; as well as demarcating the responsibilities and will also harmonize the functional overlaps that they may have in exercising their responsibilities for the spot market.
In a joint media statement, the two firms indicated that starting September 26 this year, “IEMOP will run the electricity market and… manage the registration processes of market participants.”
It will also “receive generation offers (from power facilities), come out with market prices and dispatch schedules of the generation plants, and handle billing, settlement and collections.”
Following the firmed up agreement, Aboboto noted that such will “further the development of the electricity market and to ultimately fulfill the legal mandate of the IMO (independent market operator) transition.”
Villanueva of IEMOP emphasized that they are “prepared to assume and deliver on the promise of establishing a competitive, efficient, transparent and reliable market for electricity.”
Comparatively, the Philippine WESM is already lagging behind other markets – which to date, are now reaching households in their trade of power commodity and have also expanded their service tools and options for consumers.