The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said that 72 transmission projects, including six Energy Projects of National Significance (EPNS), were not completed on schedule due to factors beyond their control.
During a Senate Committee on Energy hearing, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta informed lawmakers that her office granted approval for a total of 348 projects.
There were delays in the implementation of 33 projects in Luzon, 19 projects in Visayas, and 14 projects in Mindanao. Apart from the 66 projects approved by the ERC, there are an additional six significant energy projects in the areas of power generation, transmission, and ancillary services. These projects are crucial for maintaining grid stability and security, aligning with the policy objectives and specific goals outlined in the Department of Energy’s Philippine Energy Plan (PEP).
NGCP spokesperson Atty. Cynthia Alabanza clarified that the project delays were not intentional and attributed them to challenges faced, such as right of way (ROW) issues.
Alabanza mentioned that the Department of Energy (DOE) has been providing assistance to NGCP in addressing right of way (ROW) issues, which have been identified as the primary reasons for delays in transmission projects nationwide. She also emphasized that NGCP has been proactive in seeking the DOE’s support in resolving permitting and ROW challenges.
Earlier, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian filed Senate Resolution No. 616 to investigate the delays in NGCP’s project, saying that 16 transmission projects considered EPNS are delayed.
In relation to its income, NGCP acknowledged that a significant portion of its earnings over the past four years was allocated toward dividend payments to its shareholders.
Alabanza clarified that the correlation between their dividends and net income may not always be direct, as their profits are derived from retained earnings.
In 2019, NGCP reported a net income of Php 20.3 billion, with approximately Php 15 billion or 74% allocated for dividends. Similarly, two years prior to 2019, about 92% of its net income of Php 20.6 billion, equivalent to Php 19 billion, was distributed as dividends.
Gatchalian earlier raised flags on NGCP allegedly charging consumers for projects that have yet to be energized.
As for system operations audit, NGCP firmly stated that the audit of its system operations (SO) functions can only be carried out by the ERC, as it falls within the ERC’s regulatory authority over NGCP.
The DOE, as well as the Power Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) and National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) earlier expressed to audit the NGCP following recent alerts in the country’s energy supply.
Sen. Raffy Tulfo earlier threatened to revoke the franchise of NGCP.
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