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At a Senate hearing on Thursday, energy authorities and officials of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) — a private company in charge of operating the country's state-owned power grid — blamed each other for the recurring energy crisis in the country, which was highlighted anew when the Luzon grid was placed under Red and Yellow alerts last week.
Boy Santos, file

Energy chief wants government control of Philippines' power grids

Ramon Royandoyan (Philstar.com) - June 10, 2021 - 6:43pm

MANILA, Philippines — Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi wants the government to control the country’s power grid system, as he accused the private sector-led management of delaying projects meant to stop the perennial problem of energy insecurity in the Philippines.

At a Senate hearing on Thursday, energy authorities and officials of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) — a private company in charge of operating the country's state-owned power grid — blamed each other for the recurring energy crisis in the country, which was highlighted anew when the Luzon grid was placed under Red and Yellow alerts last week.

The energy chief blasted the NGCP for failing to comply with existing government regulations, noting that what exists now is not a power crisis but one of compliance.

Cusi then proposed amending the franchise of NGCP and transfer control over the grid into the state’s hands, citing the fact that NGCP is “a private corporation with substantial foreign ownership.”

“What we’re experiencing is not a power crisis but a compliance crisis of the NGCP,” Cusi said in the hearing.

Rotating brownouts are nothing new for the public as these were quite frequent post-Martial Law, especially under the presidencies of Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos that by 6pm, power would cease for most of the Philippines.

That said, stakeholders present such as Philippine Independent Power Producers Association, continue their push for sectoral reform. Anne Estorco Montelibano, head of PIPPA, noted red tape serves as barriers of entry for would-be power producers.

“Why would you want to put up a plant if you’re not guaranteed to earn a profit? If you do make one, earnings are eventually capped,” she said.

ALFONSO CUSI PHILIPPINE POWER GRID
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