THE INDEPENDENT Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) said it does not earn billions of pesos from power consumers, citing its non-profit and non-stock nature, contrary to claims made by Senator Emmanuel D. Pacquiao that it has been enriching itself at the expense of consumers.
“IEMOP is a legitimate and lawful entity formed pursuant to EPIRA (Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001), tasked to operate the WESM (wholesale electricity spot market). By its nature and functions, IEMOP does not earn income or profits,” it said in a statement on its website Sunday.
“The cost of operating the WESM is recovered through market fees which are filed with and approved by the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) and are recovered from generator trading participants. IEMOP does not earn billions of pesos from the consumers,” it added.
Mr. Pacquiao’s allegations involve the claim that the IEMOP has been receiving half a centavo for every kilowatt-hour consumed. He cited complaints received by his office.
“Did you know that P0.05 per kilowatt-hour of payment from Filipinos goes to a private company created with a paid-up capital of P7,000?” he said, referring to the market operator, in a briefing on July 3.
“From its paid-up capital, it became an instant billion-peso company in just one year… The company IEMOP holds billions. It was given authority by the DoE (Department of Energy) to act as the independent electricity spot market operator,” he added.
In its statement, IEMOP said it was not given authority by DoE.
“We therefore respectfully request Sen. Manny Pacquiao to spare us from politics… The people from IEMOP have worked and continue to work hard to ensure the success of these market developments. We do not want to get distracted by political issues that are clearly false and misleading to the public,” the entity said.
DOE SAYS ‘NO CORRUPTION’ IN SETTING UP MARKET OPERATOR
Mr. Pacquiao also claimed that the Energy department awarded a contract to the market operator without going through a bidding process.
On Monday, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said there was “no corruption” in setting up the IEMOP.
“The establishment of a market operator was in compliance with the EPIRA law,” he said in a statement.
Mr. Pacquiao must prove his claims with substantial evidence, according to Mr. Cusi, who said the charges he made are grave.
“As with all whistle blowers, he should be held accountable for his statements, and be responsible enough not to issue a defamatory statement and then just (get) up and leave,” Mr. Cusi said.
Assistant Secretary Gerardo D. Erguiza, Jr. separately said the allegations the senator had raised were tackled in an earlier congressional hearing.
“The issues that he raised are re-hashed and have been subjected to a full congressional inquiry by the House,” Mr. Erguiza said in a statement. — Angelica Y. Yang