Gatchalian seeks Senate inquiry into NGCP’s delayed implementation of projects
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian has filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the alleged delayed implementation of 16 National Grid Corporation of the Philippine (NGCP) projects considered to be Energy Projects of National Significance (EPNS).
Gatchalian expressed his dismay over the supposed delay, pointing out that only six of the 16 EPNS, or 37 percent, have reached completion as of March 2023.
“Ang masama dito, nangongolekta na sa atin at nagbabayad na tayo ng pera sa mga proyektong hindi pa natin nakikita,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
(The bad thing is that the NGCP is already collecting our payment for projects we have yet to see.)
In line with this, the senator filed on May 17 Senate Resolution No. 6161, which calls for a probe into the NGCP’s alleged delayed transmission projects.
Out of 168 projects – excluding 56 projects currently under pre-construction state – only 30 were completed while 138 were delayed, Gatchalian said.
According to him, the supposed delay or failure to complete the projects causes “significant delays in the development and operation of generation facilities which in turn affect the total electric power supply in the country.”
He added that the EPNS projects’ implementation had been delayed for about three years, while the incomplete ones had been delayed by about five years.
“The delay causes a multi-layered impact. When we talk about attracting investments into the country, the power supply is a fundamental consideration. How can we attract investors if we don’t have adequate supply and if it’s too costly?” Gatchalian stressed.
Among the projects he cited as an example are the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project, which will enable the country to have one grid once completed, and the Cebu-Negros-Panay 230 kilovolts (kV) Backbone Stage 3 Project, which would increase transfer capacity from 200 MW to 800 MW.
Gatchalian explained that the former was initially set to operate last December 2020, while the latter was supposed to be completed in 2019.
“As the sole backbone for the transmission of electricity throughout the country, the NGCP is duty bound in ensuring that it can adequately serve generation companies, distribution utilities, and suppliers requiring transmission and ancillary services through transmission system,” he said.