Press Release
June 17, 2021


*Note: Please see attached table from SEC

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday questioned the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP)'s multimillion peso expenses on advertisements and entertainment, saying that these should not be shouldered by consumers as they are not critical to power transmission operations.

"It was puzzling to see items such as advertisements, representation and entertainment in NGCP's expenditures. Not only that, they also spent almost half a billion pesos on them. Ano'ng kinalaman nito sa transmission? Are these expenses critical part of their business?" she said.

During the continuation of the Senate probe on recent rotational blackouts in Metro Manila and other parts of the country, Hontiveros revealed that NGCP spent an accumulated amount of P369M on Representation and Entertainment in 2017 and 2018. While P79M was spent for Advertising in the same time period.

"I wonder kung ordinaryong konsyumer din ba ang nagbabayad nito under the Energy Regulatory Commission regulation? Ipinasa rin ba ito sa ating mga kababayan? Parang hindi naman yan makatarungan," Hontiveros stated.

Hontiveros emphasized that while NGCP has been 'spending big' on ads and entertainment, the national power grid has been negligent in getting the transmission development plan approved and failing to properly carry out grid improvement projects.

"May tinira ba silang pera para ma-upgrade ang national grid natin? Nasunod ba nila ang Grid Development Plan? May 71 delayed at 83 uncompleted transmission projects. Mukhang sa ibang bagay sila abala at ang mga dapat nilang sinserbisyuhan, taon-taon na lang nagtitiis sa blackouts at pass on charges," she said.

Last year, the Senator also revealed that NGCP's shareholders have already divided among themselves a total of P187.8B in corporate dividends in just ten years of their 25-year contract to run the country's power transmission system.

Hontiveros has also been calling for the ERC to immediately peg a more conscionable rate of the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) or the return a company expects on its capital investment. She said that NGCP enjoys an excessive rate of 15% as opposed to the global average rate of 7% and this contributes to the cost of electricity consumers have to pay.

"Huwag tayong magbulag-bulagan sa mga isyung ito at hayaan na lang gatasan nang gatasan ang mga Pilipino. Isa lang ang malinaw sa ngayon, kailangan na nating simulang pag-aralan kung paano bawiin sa NGCP ang control ng ating power grid," she concluded.

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