Philippine Electricity Market Corp. will tighten the monitoring of violations on the trading of electricity, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said over the weekend.
Petilla told reporters PEMC, operator of the Wholesale Electricity Sport Market which acts as the trading floor of electricity, asked its enforcement and compliance office to expedite the investigation on trading rules.
“When I sat down with PEMC, it was investigating violations, two to three years ago. To me the most effective sanction whether reward or punishment is when you implement right away,” the energy chief said.
Petilla said PEMC would not be effective if it would not impose sanctions against erring power players immediately. “So I said, effective immediately, all investigation will have to be as updated as possible,” he said.
Petilla said there was a time when the maximum penalty was only P3 million, but PEMC decided to move on with investigations and impose the corresponding sanctions.
Petilla also directed PEMC to add manpower to ensure a monthly investigation and imposition of sanctions.
“We should add people, if needed. Whatever it takes so we can do it monthly,” he said.
He said the penalties would be used to train stakeholders on WESM rules and its intricacies. Petilla said he was also pushing for an accreditation of WESM traders.
“If you don’t have WESM accreditations, you cannot trade. If you don’t have the expertise, you can take an exam for it. People are trading and yet they do not know the aspects of WESM,” he said.
He said the penalties for the month of December 2013 violation was so big, “that we probably have to think of ways of disposing the fund, if we will give back to the people.”
PEMC imposed a P239-million fine against Therma Mobile Inc. owned by Aboitiz Group and a combined P89 million against the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. for breaches in the “must-offer” rules of WESM in November and December 2013.