Press Release
June 28, 2018

Gatchalian welcomes formation of WESM's Independent Market Operator

Senator Win Gatchalian on Thursday welcomed the creation of an independent body that will operate the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) as mandated by EPIRA or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Republic Act No. 9136).

"After a delay of almost 10 years, DOE has moved to institutionalize an independent market operator which will handle the electricity market. This is a welcome development in the government's efforts to fully implement EPIRA and attain its pro-consumer objectives," he said.

Previously, the Philippine Electric Market Corporation (PEMC), through its PEM Board - composed of representatives from government, generation companies, transmission utilities, and distribution utilities - conducted both the operations and governance functions of WESM.

Gatchalian said the formation of an Independent Market Operator (IMO) would ensure greater independence in the operations of the country's electricity market, ultimately benefiting Filipino consumers because the IMO board is composed of individuals who are not connected to government or to any electric power industry player.

The IMO is expected to operate and administer the WESM, and allocate resources for that purpose. It shall also determine the dispatch schedule of all facilities, and monitor daily trading activities in the market.

Moreover, it shall oversee transaction billing and settlement procedures, and shall maintain and publish a register of all WESM participants.

Gatchalian also welcomed the selection of Atty. Francis Saturnino "Nino" Juan as the first chairman, president and chief executive officer of IMO.

The senator highlighted Juan's integrity and in-depth knowledge of the energy sector, being the former Executive Director of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), and the Chief Operating Officer of the IMO Transition Committee.

Aside from Juan, the other members of the IMO board are Jose Mari Bigornia, Caroll Tang, retired Lieutenant Gen. Ralph Villanueva, Richard Nethercott, Johnny Tuason, and Jose Rodelio Mangulabnan. All members of the IMO board are expected to assume their positions for one year.

"The Filipino consumer can expect more reliable management and administration of the electricity market through the IMO," he added.

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