The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) spent almost Php 8.7 billion on security and janitorial services, an expense charged to consumers that were carried over as a ‘transmission charge’ from 2009 to 2022, claimed Sen. Risa Hontiveros.
In a report by the Inquirer, the transmission charge, which covers the cost of delivering electricity to the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) system, takes up 10.1% of a customer’s overall monthly MERALCO bill. Meanwhile, the generation charge, representing the cost of purchasing electricity from suppliers, constitutes 55% of the total bill.
Hontiveros questioned the corporation’s billion-peso expense on janitorial services.
The Senator added that projects that should have already been finished were severely delayed, electricity prices have remained high, and thousands of Filipinos still lack access to a supply of energy.
The Senator added that the NGCP sustained questionable expenses during the 14 years following a review of financial documents that the corporation submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This is apart from the security and janitorial services.
The corporation also paid Php 1.67 billion for entertainment and representation, Php 2.3 billion for corporate social responsibility activities and public relations, and Php 1.1 billion for advertising. Additionally, their biggest spending was on repairs and maintenance which amounted to Php 12.2 billion.
Hontiveros had previously questioned the advertising expenditures, saying that since power transmission is a “natural monopoly” and NGCP had no rivals, it was unnecessary for it to spend so much money on advertising.
She continued by stating that between 2009 and 2022, NGCP earned a total of Php 306.7 billion, of which Php 238.8 billion was declared and given to its stockholders as profits.
Sen. Hontiveros noted that the dividends of shareholders amounted to 77% of the company’s total income, saying that it is highly irregular.
The involvement of China with NGCP was also questioned as 40% of the corporation was owned by the State Grid Corporation of China and the remaining 60% was shared by Calaca High Power Corporation and Monte Oro Grid Resources Corporation.
In a response to Hontiveros, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chair Monalisa Dimalanta said that they are reviewing NGCP’s performance as recommended by several senators.