Congress to probe IEMOP board


The House committee on energy will investigate the composition of the board of directors of the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) over alleged violation of Section 3 (b) of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

House committee on energy member and Nueva Ecija Representative Rosanna Vergara raised the alleged violation over the appointment of IEMOP President Richard Nethercott.

This also pushed the members of the House energy committee to investigate other IEMOP officials, according to a Manila Bulletin report.

Vergara revealed that Nethercott is married to Assistant Secretary Caron Aicitel Lascano of the DOE, which is also involved in the supervision of operations of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

Vergara explained that if IEMOP is claiming to be a private entity and DOE has its supervising function in the operation of WESM, then it shows a violation of the anti-graft law.

She added that Nethercott has no experience in the energy sector as he was previously practicing in the legal profession.

Details of the complaint will be included in the next hearing such as the process of appointment of the IEMOP board, including the five officials who have no background in the energy sector nor knowledge in the operations of a power spot  market.

The P2 million bonuses accorded by IEMOP board to themselves are also intended to be discussed in the next hearing.

Vergarda noted that House Committee on Energy Chairman Lord Allan Velasco had ordered IEMOP to submit its financial statements so the House can investigate how it all spent its market fee collections.