Senate to probe delayed energy projects: Gatchalian

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 04 2019 09:48 AM | Updated as of Dec 04 2019 10:05 AM

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MANILA - The Senate will look into 33 delayed projects under the transmission development plan of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said Wednesday.

The Senate earlier said it would investigate NGCP over China’s 40 percent stake in the country’s lone power transmission line.

Gatchalian, chairman of Senate committee on energy, said the Senate would also look into possible penalties for the NGCP over the delay of the projects.

"A delay in the rollout of these transmission facilities will also delay a lot of the power plants that will go into the system," he told ANC's Early Edition.

"Even if we have a lot of power plants but if we don’t have enough capacity in the transmission lines or the transmission lines will not be put up then we will have problems with electricity shortage."

Gatchalian earlier warned that the NGCP may lose its franchise for failing to debut in the stock market last January.

"The IPO (initial public offering) will enable government and public to participate and this will improve transparency and this is what we need in the management and scrutiny of NGCP," he said Wednesday.

Gatchalian urged the NGCP to let government inspect its facilities and software following claims that the State Grid Corp. of China allegedly changed portions of its system instructions into Chinese and allowed Chinese nationals to operate the machines.

Under NGCP’s contract, only Filipinos are allowed to operate machines while its Chinese stakeholder can only provide technical assistance.

"This will allay the fears of the public and will also fulfill very important safeguards in the concession agreement," Gatchalian said.

Senate investigation into the NGCP will begin in the second or third week of December, he added.

NGCP earlier assured the public that Filipinos are in control of the country's power transmission infrastructure.