On the Line: Tulfo threatens to revoke NGCP franchise


Senate Committee on Energy chairman, Sen. Raffy Tulfo, has threatened to revoke the franchise of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), following power interruptions in some parts of the country. 

Following a committee hearing on NGCP’s operations and power supply situations across the country, Tulfo said that he has met with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to raise his concerns on NGCP, including his recommendations to address issues surrounding the grid operator. 

In a report by Rappler, Tulfo said that Marcos Jr. agreed with his recommendations if “it would be good for the country.” Tulfo also told the president of the possible cancellation of NGCP’s franchise should violations be found. 

In a separate statement, Marcos Jr. said that the government would gain control over the NGCP if needed. 

Tulfo earlier warned Marcos Jr. of Chinese ownership of NGCP, which may pose a national security threat considering conflicts between China and the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea. 

NGCP is 40% owned by State Grid Corporation of China, while 60% of capital stakes are Filipino-owned. 

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian also raised concerns over NGCP allegedly charging customers for projects that have yet to be on stream. He earlier said that at least 71 NGCP projects are delayed. 

Gatchalian agreed that China’s stake in the NGCP is a security concern. The senator also called out the Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as the intelligence and security sector for not having an audit of the NGCP and the national grid’s performance and security. 

NGCP said that it has faith in the legal process in reviewing its franchise in operating the national grid, and it is confident that its contributions will be recognized. 

NGCP spokesperson Atty. Cynthia Alabanza said that NGCP recognizes that their franchise is a privilege granted by the government and that they are ready to answer questions concerning on “how we do business.” 

Earlier in May, a red alert was declared over the Luzon Grid after the Bolo-Masinloc 230 kV line 2 tripped, which in turn caused the Masinloc power plant to trip off. 

NGCP began operations as a power transmission service in 2009 under a 50-year franchise.