Further evaluation must be done before the spot market’s shift to an independent market operator (IMO), even as the law requires it, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said.
“I think there’s no sense of urgency for them to become IMO,” the neophyte senator said. “It’s functioning the way it is right now.”
The chairman of the Senate committee on energy also said the transition has to be evaluated first.
“PEMC has been pushing to become an IMO but my sense there is there’s no rush to look at that,” Gatchalian said. I think we have time to evaluate that.”
Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, the WESM must be transferred to an independent entity or IMO a year after its establishment.
The PEMC has been operating the market since 2006 and consists of a 15-man body with representatives from every sector of the electric power industry and independent members led by the Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary.
During the Senate public hearings in October 2015, former senator Sergio Osmeña III asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to perform an independent audit on PEMC from the years 2006 to 2014 as it does not undergo audits by the Commission on Audit (COA) since it is a private entity.
Under Executive Order 203, the PEMC was classified as a government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC) earlier this year.
Gatchalian said part of the evaluation would involve analyzing the legal structure of PEMC to determine whether or not it is government- or private-owned.