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Continuous probing of NGCP operation, concession and franchise agreements needed

The Senate Committee on Energy chaired by Senator Win Gatchalian will dig deeper into the constitutional violations that the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) committed with respect to its concession and franchise agreements.


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The initials of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, “a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s state-owned power grid, an interconnected system that transmits gigawatts of power at thousands of volts from where it is made to where it is needed,” as seen on its building’s main entrance, 25 June 2018. It is partly owned by China through a 40% stake held by its State Grid Corporation. Photo by Mark Cayabyab/OS WIN GATCHALIAN

Gatchalian had said that the NGCP’s license can be revoked if proven that it has violated the constitution.

“Maraming violations lalong-lalo na sa mga dayuhan na nasa critical positions like management and executive positions. Yung audit ang magpapatunay na merong violations. Importante na magkaroon tayo ng proseso na i-audit sila, i-inspect at tingnan ang mga documents. Kapag napatunayan na may violations, lalo na sa Constitution, pwede natin i-revoke ang kanilang franchise”, reiterates Gatchalian.

Senators grilled NGCP officials on Monday’s Senate hearing over its refusal to let the National Transmission Corporation (Transco) and the Department of Energy (DOE) conduct an audit on its operations amid concerns that it is controlled and operated by China through State Grid Corporation of China or SGCC.

In the next hearings, Gatchalian said he wants to determine the compliance of NGCP’s other constitutional mandate under its franchise, such as going public through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

The lawmaker pointed out that the NGCP should have already commenced with its IPO, especially after its ten-year deadline has lapsed last December 19. Gatchalian explained that the IPO delay is depriving Filipinos of their fair share in the public utility.

He estimated that the public would have received around ₱33.98 billion in dividends or 20% of NGCP’s total cash dividends in the past nine (9) years had there been an IPO at the start of NGCP’s operations.

“The NGCP’s governance will be more transparent if only the IPO has been launched on time. Going public will allow NGCP to disclose detailed, descriptive, balanced, and comprehensible assessment of the corporation’s performance to shareholders; regularly submit reports to shareholders and to the Securities and Exchange Commission; and to be accountable to shareholders who shall communicate or seek to obtain redress for any violations of shareholder’s rights,” the senator said.

Gatchalian also wants to inquire with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) about the need for Congress to be updated on the progress of NGCP’s petitions, seek accountability on regulatory delays, and take note of steps undertaken to resolve these matters with urgency,” he said.

Gatchalian has pointed out that they have just barely scratched the surface of the problems and issues that hound the power utility.