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PIA Press Release

PGMA vows thorough investigation of alleged power price manipulations

DANAO CITY (13 October) -- Underscoring her strong resolve to protect the interest and welfare of power consumers, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo vowed today that no stone will be left unturned in the investigation of the reported price manipulations in the electricity spot market.

"The people can rest assured that no stone will be left unturned in the course of the investigation on the alleged price manipulation in the electricity spot market," the President said during the inauguration of the P74-million ultra modern bus terminal cum public market in Danao City.

The reported manipulations have raised fears of new power rate hikes, but the President assured consumers that the government energy team led by Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla is "at the forefront of protecting the interest and welfare of the public, especially when it comes to electricity as the people deserve no less than the maximum benefits of a free market."

The wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) was created under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 to promote competition in the electricity wholesale market and allow market forces dictate the prices of electricity.

The WESM works like the Philippine Stock Exchange where sellers and buyers make price offers for shares of stocks of listed companies.

Saying that energy is a "vital tool" in achieving economic stability and peace, the President said the government will continue to seek and develop alternative sources of energy to cushion the impact of fluctuating oil prices in the world market and ease the country's dependence on imported oil.

She also thanked Congress for passing the Biofuels Act which mandates that all liquid fuels for motors and engines in the Philippines must contain locally sourced components.

The President also expressed hope that Congress would pass other measures on alternative energy sources.

She likewise expressed her appreciation for the approval by the House of Representatives of the proposed budget for 2007. (PIA) [top]

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