PNOC-RC still struggling to be profitable

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - December 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — State-run PNOC Renewables Corp. (PNOC-RC) is still making a last ditch effort to turn its struggling business around.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said PNOC-RC is still operating and looking at projects to invest in.

“There is no advice yet from the Governance Commission for Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GCG). And we are looking at the projects of PNOC-RC, what projects PNOC-RC can push,” he said.

PNOC-RC is  the renewable energy arm of Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) an attached agency of the DOE. The Energy secretary sits as ex-officio chairman of the PNOC board.

The GCG sought  the abolition of the agency.

Pending the decision of President Duterte,  PNOC-RC is still operating and exploring projects to invest in.

“PNOC-RC must look at new technologies and help in research and development paving the road for new investors,” he said.

Cusi said the state-run firm would  not be able to compete with the private sector if its investments would only revolve around solar rooftops, which is the majority of its existing projects.

Unlike private companies, PNOC-RC’s investments go through a bureaucratic process.

“PNOC-RC is a GOCC, they also need to make a revenue to continue operating. The problem is if their projects are only solar rooftops, they would find it hard to compete with the private sector,” Cusi said.

During the budget hearing of DOE and its attached agencies, PNOC-RC president John Arenas said the company submitted to the Senate energy committee a “turn-around” plan to wipe out losses by 2023.

However, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who chairs the committee, did not endorse the state-run firm’s budget given the GCG recommendation. Instead, he also recommended winding down the corporation due to losses incurred in the past years.

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