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Creation of independent market operator ‘legal’

An official of the Department of Energy said the agency did not break any law in establishing the independent market operator, contrary to the claims of Senator Manny Pacquiao.

At the Laging Handa public briefing yesterday, DOE assistant secretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. said the establishment of the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines has even fulfilled the requirement under Republic Act 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.

The IEMOP serves as the independent market operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.

Erguiza said the creation of IEMOP does not need bidding and does not require the operator to have large capital.

“The independent market operator does not need big capital because according to the law, the functions, assets, and liabilities of the temporary market operator – the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. – will transfer these to the independent market operator,” he said.

He added the IEMOP will run the operation and administration aspects of being an independent market operator.

Erguiza said Pacquiao might be “ill-advised” for coming up with his allegations against the DOE.

He said the issue on the establishment of the IEMPO was cleared as the department has “exhaustively discussed” the matter during a hearing at the Lower House.

But Erguiza said the DOE is not keen in pursuing legal actions against the senator.

“What’s important to us is to show that the DOE and Secretary Alfonso Cusi are clear from the allegations,” Erguiza added in Filipino. “We will lift it up to God. We will not engage in defamatory acts.”*PNA

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