(Photo from Sen. Risa Hontiveros Official Facebook Page)

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday urged the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to review the program implementation of the private-owned National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for its failure to provide enough power supply that will affect almost a million households in Luzon.

In a statement, Hontiveros said there should be an overall review of the power transmission development plan and implementation process as well as the system operation of the power grid.

She is pushing for the amendments to Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), which hinders the entry of other power generations and other energy sources.

“The EPIRA must be amended to establish a power industry structure that is responsive to the needs of our people and not only providing profits for bad services,” Hontiveros said.

She said the NGCP continues to enjoy soaring profits despite its failure to maintain secured “brownout-free” operation of the grid.

She asked the ERC to “leave no stone unturned” in its investigation of the recent decision of the NGCP to place the Luzon grid on yellow and red alerts, resulting in rotating blackouts.

The EPIRA mandates the ERC to promote competition, encourage market development, ensure consumer choice, and penalize abuse of market power in the restructured electricity industry.

During previous Senate hearings, Hontiveros noted that representatives of the NGCP committed to work on important reforms which will help address various problems that cause forced outages and rotating blackouts.

“What happened to the firm contracts for ancillary services which should have been one of the several policies and programs that will provide solutions and further lessen the power supply issues and most importantly, their mandate to undertake major improvement of power lines?” Hontiveros asked.

Hontiveros earlier said NGCP shareholders received PHP187.8 billion worth of corporate dividends in just 10 years of their 25-year contract of running the power grid system.

NGCP has 127 delayed transmission projects all over the country and only around 36 have been met within schedule, Hontiveros noted. (PNA)

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