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PIA Press Release

Stakeholders urged to monitor electricity market's behavior

Iloilo City (13 October) -- Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Executive Director Saturnino C. Juan urged all electricity stakeholders to be one with the ERC in vigilantly monitoring the activities of the electricity markets.

"This is to make sure that the envisioned competitive electricity industry is achieved for the benefit of the consuming public and the country as well", Juan said in a press report.

Engr. George Ernie T. Matulac, Service Maintenance Manager of Panay Power Corporation stresses the importance of observance of home energy saving tips during the opening of Statistical Exhibits of the 17th National Statistics Month at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol recently, focusing on the theme: "Empowering Consumers through Responsive Energy Statistics". (PIA 6)

He likewise assured the public that the ERC is doing its share in keeping an eye on the behavior of the electricity market in response to the reports that an investigation is being conducted by the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) on the alleged price manipulation at the market.

Relative to the frequent occurrences of extremely high load weighted average prices in the market since October 3, 2006, Jesus said, "the ERC recognizes that the market should be self-regulating and is to be governed by its internal enforcement mechanism. However, as a guard versus anti-competitive behavior in the market, the ERC exercises oversight authority over the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) by constantly monitoring the market operations and is, in fact currently awaiting the result of the pertained investigation and will thereafter undertake appropriate action, if warranted. It is noteworthy that the ERC welcomes and appreciates PEMC's conduct of an investigation."

Pursuant to Section 43 (r) of the Electric Power Reform Act, the ERC, in the exercise of its investigative and quasi-judicial powers, shall against any participant or player in the energy sector for violation of any law, rule and regulation governing the same, including the rules on cross-ownership, anti-competitive practices, abuse of market positions and similar or related acts, and shall require any person or entity to submit any report or data relative to any investigation or hearing conducted relative thereto.

To ensure that the consumers will not be taken advantage of or protected, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has already instructed the Department of Energy and other government agencies concerned to undertake an expeditious and credible probe into these allegations of price manipulation.

The President said that price manipulations are unacceptable and should not go unpunished if culpabilities are established. (PIA) [top]

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