Deputy Speaker and Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez slammed the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for demanding a P3.2 billion increase in its billings for its services this year.
During a virtual legislative hearing, Fernandez said the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved the NGCP’s request for an increase of P3.2 billion for this year’s interim maximum annual revenue (IMAR).
As a result, NGCP is to gain a total of P47.01 billion in profit this year.
“Bakit kayo nag-increase ng P3.2 billion considering that the whole country is suffering under this COVID-19 situation?” Fernandez questioned NGCP officials in a hearing.
Bulacan Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado urged the grid corporation to defer its additional billing for this year, adding that Filipino consumers share the same sentiments regarding the increase.
“Demanding for a high P3.2 billion in additional IMAR is ill-timed considering the COVID-19 status prevailing in the country. You already earned much,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez told reporters he was shocked by the NGCP’s move as the company is assured of huge profits in the remainder of its 25-year contract with the government.
“I think it is just unconscionable for any firm, whether government or privately owned, to rake [in] profits at this time that Filipinos in every corner of this country suffer economic losses due to the pandemic,” he said.
NGCP’s Maria Carmen Marinque explained that the firm is entitled to seek revenues annually under its interim formula determining the firm’s income.
She added that implementation of the P3.2 billion was postponed and should “have been recovered from the remaining months of 2020,” instead of starting in April, which is one of the months covered by the COVID-19 pandemic.