Press Release
October 12, 2023

Hontiveros to ERC: Verify claims of NGCP's P8.7B Janitorial and Security Services Expenses

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday urged the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to thoroughly investigate and verify the claims made by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) before the press that they are spending a substantial P8.7 billion on janitorial and security services for a purported total of 583 facilities, each costing the company P87,000 per month.

"Hindi tayo kailangang mangapa sa dilim para makita ang mga pasilidad na pinagkagastusan ng bilyun-bilyon ng NGCP. Sa katunayan ay mas madali itong makikita ng ERC o ng Department of Energy dahil physical facilities ang mga ito kung ihahambing sa mahiwagang mga proyekto na pinopondohan ng confidential funds na mahirap hanapin," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros chose to highlight this matter amidst reports that NGCP was attempting to shift focus away from her after she questioned the appropriateness of NGCP's P8.7 billion expenditure on janitorial and security services during Senate deliberations on the proposed DOE budget for 2024 on September 29.

This expenditure, along with other substantial payments for advertising, entertainment, and corporate social responsibility projects, contributes to the recoverable amounts charged to electricity consumers under the transmission cost.

"Anumang ipinapasa natin sa konsyumer ay dapat nabubusisi ng maigi. Ni hindi nga makapaghire ang konsyumer ng sariling tagalinis o security guard, tapos sa kanila pala ipapasa ang bayarin na ito na dapat ay sa NGCP. Hindi ito patas," Hontiveros said.

The senator said that her office has received information from industry sources suggesting that NGCP might be maintaining significantly fewer facilities than they reported. According to her sources, the actual number may be closer to 260, which is less than half of the claimed 583 facilities. Based on what can be counted on the Philippine Grid Map published by NGCP, there are only 164 substation facilities all over the country.

In particular, Hontiveros pointed out that many facilities, such as the 77 repeater stations situated on remote mountain tops, require only a single security guard rather than janitorial staff. Similarly, over a hundred substation facilities and control centers, which are predominantly inaccessible to the public, may not necessitate around-the-clock janitorial services.

"To validate the accuracy of these numbers and determine whether NGCP is disseminating misleading information on this issue, the ERC should conduct a comprehensive verification of the physical existence of these facilities and scrutinize the actual contracts governing janitorial and security services. This is in line with the regulator's duty to perform a performance and rate audit of the NGCP," Hontiveros concluded.

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