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Press release sent directly to Tubag Bohol News Headquarters:

The Philippine Electricity Market (PEM) board, the governing body of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), has certified the technical readiness of the electricity bourse to begin commercial operations in the Visayas anytime on or after 26 February 2008.  This endorsement will be transmitted to the Department of Energy (DOE) after which it is expected that a definite date will be set for the Visayas market launch.           

"Now that we've achieved technical readiness, we await advice from the DOE on the final launch date in the Visayas," said Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) Executive Vice President Mario R. Pangilinan.

            The DOE will also take into account the level of competitive arrangements in the Visayas as well as other considerations to ensure that the market functions as intended and that the consumers are protected.

"The generators in the Visayas have all signed up for participation in the market.  However, on the buyer side, there is a lack of direct participation due to recurring issues on the existing power contracts.  Although in some ways this may be beneficial in the short-term as this ensures the consumers are protected from price spikes during the early days of the market," said PEMC president Lasse A. Holopainen.

Once the WESM begins in the Visayas, all energy will be traded through the market management system which should lead to more efficient use of capacity as well as giving the appropriate investment signals for more power generation capacity at the right time.

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