Senator Win Gatchalian said that the Senate Committee on Energy has been reviewing the performance of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and its compliance with its obligations under the constitution, the EPIRA, its franchise, and concession agreement.
“Maraming bagay na dapat nilang i-comply at tuloy tuloy yung aming review. If they will comply then hindi na dapat galawin yung franchise. Binibigyan natin sila ng oras para ma-correct sila at kung hindi nila iko-correct or hindi sila magko-comply, that’s the time na mas drastic yung gagawin natin, to a point na baka ma-revoke yung franchise,” said Gatchalian, adding that any recommendation from his committee will be referred to the Senate Public Services Committee which has the jurisdiction over the company’s franchise.
The senator said his committee’s review of the performance of the NGCP has been underway even before the recent rotational brownouts in some key areas in Luzon which triggered an inquiry in the upper chamber.
It can be recalled that Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi had said that a legislation must be crafted to amend NGCP’s franchise due to many factors including the non-compliance with a DOE circular ordering NGCP to contract 100-percent firm contracts for ancillary services (AS), which Cusi mentioned as one of the causes of the rotational brownouts in several areas in Luzon from end May to early June.
President Duterte met with NGCP and energy officials in Malacanang last Friday, June 25, to address the power interruptions in Luzon. Reports also say the alleged non-compliance of the electricity network concessionaire to the provisions of the contract that the NGCP signed with the government was one of the discussions during the said meeting.
In March 2020 during Gatchalian’s committee hearing, one of the things that was brought up was NGCP’s non-compliance with the constitution, specifically the prohibition against management and executive officials being foreigners.
“Ang franchise privilege ay binibigay natin dahil merong katumbas na responsibilidad yan. At titignan din natin kung yung responsibilidad na yun ay ginagampanan nila. If they will not adhere to those responsibilities, magkakaroon talaga tayo ng problema. So, ongoing yung review ng responsibilities and performance ng NGCP. Titignan natin kung kakailanganing i revoke, i amend or ma-improve yung franchise ng NGCP. Importante may due process, importante yung review para makita natin kung ano yung tamang aksyon pagdating sa prangkisa ng NGCP,” said Gatchalian.