Disclaimer by PSALM President Jose C. Ibazeta

03 Jun 2008

The article in the Philippine Star issue of 3 June 2008 entitled "PSALM head tells Congress: No need to amend EPIRA" and written by Jess Diaz is false and misleading. It is not true that the President of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), Mr. Jose C. Ibazeta, told Congress that there is no need to amend the EPIRA and that he rejected the proposal to amend the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) to allow big users of electricity to buy directly from power producers.

PSALM has supported efforts to improve the EPIRA, and to that end has actively participated in deliberations at the House of Representatives and the Senate to amend the law. Mr. Ibazeta never opposed efforts to amend EPIRA, he never said he is against the amendments and he has never rejected, as Mr. Diaz claims, any proposal to amend the EPIRA to allow big users of electricity to buy directly from power producers.

With regard to the proposal to lower the threshold for open access, from 70 percent privatization level to 50 percent, Mr. Ibazeta has maintained before both the House and the Senate that PSALM is neutral to the proposal inasmuch as PSALM's tentative schedule indicates that open access can be met even at the 70 percent privatization level. But Mr. Ibazeta welcomes any amendment to the EPIRA that would hasten the privatization of the government's electricity assets.

Mr. Diaz not only misquotes Mr. Ibazeta but also irresponsibly or maliciously attributes to Mr. Ibazeta a statement he never made.

PSALM further notes that the majority of the article by Mr. Diaz does not elaborate on Mr. Ibazeta's alleged statement but reports the sentiments of legislators who are pushing for the amendment of the EPIRA, including the lowering of the threshold for open access. Mr. Diaz seems to imply that Mr. Ibazeta is opposing these sentiments by our legislators. As discussed above, however, this is far from the truth.

PSALM regrets that the Philippine Star has allowed its reputation as a fair media organization to be tarnished by the false and misleading report by Mr. Diaz. We hope the Philippine Star will endeavour to rectify the situation.

Strategic Communications and Partnership Division
Tel. No. (632) 9029067