The Department of Energy (DOE) wants the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) to gain access to banks’ credit lines as it pursues the electrification of far-flung islands and communities in the country.
In a report by the Philippine Star, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said during their budget briefing with the House Committee on Appropriations that they are seeking authority for NAPOCOR to be able to at least get a credit line from banks, claiming that the state-run company currently cannot avail of such transaction due to a Department of Justice opinion issued in the past.
Lotilla said that they will try to remedy the situation as NAPOCOR, as an operating operation, “cannot do a without a credit line at all,” stressing that they would have to go through the “painful process” of getting supplemental budgets approved by the board and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, NAPOCOR is mandated to provide power generation and related power delivery systems in areas not connected to the transmission systems.
NAPOCOR manages and operates transmission line systems in Palawan, Catanaduanes, Masbate, Marinduque, and Oriental and Occidental Mindoor. It also operates 278 small power utilities group (SPUG) plants in over 189 municipalities in the country.
Lotilla said that NAPOCOR is assuring supply in SPUG areas, adding that the needs of the island provinces will be attended to.