Hontiveros rues transmission project delays

She slammed the company for its alleged failure to ensure the ‘brownout-free’ operation of the grid, amid renewed power outages that have affected at least one million households in Luzon.

September 17, 2022

Out of 127 transmission projects, only around 36 have been met within schedule by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Senator Risa Hontiveros said Friday.

“The higher revenue is supposed to help NGCP upgrade — and modernize — its transmission infrastructures — that will make the national grid more stable and reliable,” Hontiveros said.

“Why does it seem like no reforms have been implemented while the shareholders of the NGCP get richer? In fact, NGCP has a total of 127 delayed transmission projects all over the country and only around 36 have been met within schedule,” she added.

The delayed completion of NGCP’s projects tended to show that the country also has a transmission problem, aside from the problems coming from the generation sector supply capacities, according to the lawmaker.

She slammed the company for its alleged failure to ensure the “brownout-free” operation of the grid, amid renewed power outages that have affected at least one million households in Luzon.

“Consumers have been paying for their high electricity bills, but every year they always have to worry about rotating blackouts,” she said.

“The NGCP is earning a large sum of money but they provide the same sloppy service. It is time for our regulatory agencies to really hold NGCP accountable for failing to keep its promise of improving its services to the public,” she added.

The Daily Tribune was trying to get NGCP’s comment on Hontiveros’ statement as of press time.

Hontiveros noted that in previous Senate hearings, representatives of the NGCP committed to lawmakers that they will work on important reforms that will help address various problems that cause forced outages and rotating blackouts in the country.

“What happened to the firm contracts for ancillary services which should have been one of the several policies and programs that will provide solutions and further lessen the power supply issues and most importantly, their mandate to undertake the major improvement of power lines? Is this only lip service?” she asked.

She then pointed out that the Energy Regulatory Commission has allowed the NGCP to implement an interim maximum annual revenue of a whopping P51.471 billion in 2020.

The lady senator previously revealed that NGCP shareholders were able to receive P187.8 billion worth of corporate dividends in just 10 years of their 25-year contract of running the power grid system under the allegedly anomalous and controversial WACC of 15 percent.

“There should be an overall review of the power transmission development plan and implementation process as well as the system operation of the power grid,” she said.

“The EPIRA law must be amended to establish a power industry structure that is responsive to the needs of our people and not only providing profits for bad services,” she added.


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