UP Economists share PH Experience in a Seminar on Competition and Energy


On 16-17 October 2017, members of the UP faculty led the conduct of the Executive Seminar on Fostering Dynamic Competition in the Philippine Power Industry through the Energy Policy and Development Program (EPDP) and in partnership with the Philippine Competition Commission and the World Bank Group. The seminar was held at F1 Hotel BGC and University of the Philippines BGC on the first and second days, respectively.

Photo 1: (L-R) International Finance Corporation Principal Investment Officer Mr. Jesse Ang; Philippine Competition Commission Chairman Arsenio Balicasan; EPDP Program Director and UP Assistant Professor Dr. Majah-Leah Ravago; and Deputy Mission Director Mr. Clay Epperson.

The executive seminar catered to executive-level stakeholders from the energy sector, both from the Philippine government and the private sector. It featured panel sessions with high-level officials as well as separate lectures by internationally distinguished speakers well grounded in energy economics and market power in electricity markets.

Photo 2: (L-R) Mr. Kamleshwar Khelawan from the World Bank Group; UP Professor Emeritus and EPDP Fellow Dr. Raul Fabella; Philippine Competition Commission Commissioner Stella Quimbo; Energy Regulatory Commission Commissioner Josefina Patricia Asirit; and Dr. Francisco Aguero from OfRec Regulation and Compliance, Chile.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian of the Committee on Energy, Chairman Arsenio Balisacan and Commissioner Stella Quimbo of the Philippine Competition Commission (both UP Professors on secondment), Usec. Jesus Posadas of the Department of Energy, Usec. Adoracion Navarro of the National Economic and Development Authority, and Commissioners Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc and Josefina Patricia Asirit of the Energy Regulatory Commission were speakers at the event. UP Professor Emeritus and EPDP Fellow Dr. Raul Fabella also shared his insights on how competition could work in the Philippine electricity industry in a panel session.

Photo 3: (L-R) International guest speakers Dr. Steven Puller, professor at the Texas A&M University, and Dr. Francisco Agüero, partner at OfRec Regulation and Compliance, Chile; Department of Energy Undersecretary Jesus Posadas; Philippine Competition Commission Chairman Arsenio Balicasan; National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro; Energy Regulatory Commission Commissioner Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc; and Atty. Graciela Miralles Murciego of the World Bank Group

Speakers from the international community were Dr. Francisco Aguero from OfRec Regulation and Compliance, Chile; Mr. Kamleshwar Khelawan and Atty. Graciela Miralles Murciego from the World Bank Group, and Dr. Steven Puller from Texas A&M University.

The two-day seminar aimed to broaden the understanding of policy-level issues and international practices in competition and electricity reform, and to deepen the discourse on the policy implications and significance of competition and regulation in the electricity industry. Topics included market power regulation in the power sector, market design and policies that reduce market power, and international experiences and reforms in deregulated electricity markets, among others.

Photo 4: Participants from the Philippine government, private sector, academe and international community

The seminar’s theme and program was conceptualized by UP Professor Emeritus and EPDP Capacity Building Advisor Dr. Rolando Danao following the suggestion of Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and UP Professor Emeritus Ernesto Pernia, who co-chairs the EPDP Program Steering Committee together with DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi. Other members of the UP Faculty who participated in the two-day seminar include UP Assistant Professors and EPDP Fellows Dr. Sarah Daway-Ducanes and Dr. Karl Jandoc, who served as masters of ceremonies for day one and two respectively, and Dr. Laarni Escresa.

Photo 5: Philippine Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committees on Economics and Energy

EPDP is a four-year program that started in November 2014. It is implemented by the UPecon Foundation, Inc. under the leadership of Dr. Majah-Leah Ravago, UP Assistant Professor, and through a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). One of its objectives is to strengthen the capacity of the Philippine government to formulate coherent and evidence-based policies and strategies that promote the development of the Philippine energy industry.