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PIA Press Release
2006/10/25

ERC answer to price-fixing: Tight controls

Quezon City (25 October) -- The Energy Regulation Commission (ERC) said it would impose the necessary controls on the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) if allegations would be proven that there was price manipulation during the market’s third trading month, causing prices to suddenly spike.

“If anticompetitive behavior is established and duly reported to the ERC, appropriate remedies such as directives to fix or control the price will be issued and the appropriate penalties imposed, after observance of the requirements of due process,” said ERC commissioner and officer-in-charge Alejandro Barin.

The ERC is waiting for the WESM operator, Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC), to finish its investigation of its suspicions of price manipulation at the spot market from August 26 to September 25.

“The ERC will evaluate and validate the PEMC’s report, according to set procedures,” Barin said.

He said that contrary to criticisms, the ERC has never been remiss in its duties, particularly in ensuring that competition is fair and that no single entity benefits from market power.

The operative regulations are the “Competition Rules and Complaint Procedures,” which penalize abuse of market power or anticompetitive behavior in the WESM. (PIA) [top]

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