Gatchalian: NGCP must pay fine for economic losses caused by blackout

Gatchalian on NGCP: They must pay fine for economic losses caused by blackout

/ 09:50 AM January 08, 2024

power outage in Panay Island

REVIEW Sen. Risa Hontiveros says a reviewof financial documents
submitted by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines
to the Securities and Exchange Commission shows the
country’s sole energy grid operator has incurred questionable
expenses over a 14-year period. —LYN RILLON

MANILA, Philippines — There should be a corresponding fine for all the economic losses caused by the blackout that plagued Panay Island early January, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said on Monday.

According to Gatchalian, this fine is meant for the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to “feel the hardship suffered by businesses” in the area.


“Hindi ito ang kauna-unahang isyu ng NGCP. Marami ng isyu ang nakita noong unang mga pagdinig tulad ng delayed projects, foreign managers, walang ancillary reserve, etc. Kaya importanteng continuous ang pag review ng franchise ng NGCP,” Gatchalian said in a text message.


(This is not the first issue of NGCP. Many issues were seen during the previous hearings such as delayed projects, foreign managers, no ancillary reserve, etc. So it is important to continuously review the NGCP franchise.)

But citing “initial reports” and his office’s “own research,” Gatchalian said two firms are responsible for the Panay-wide black out: the Panay Energy Development Corporation accountable for the “unplanned outage” and the NGCP that “did not do its manual dropping” which caused the whole system to collapse leading to the blackout.

“Maiiwasan sana ‘yung blackout kung tapos na ‘yung Mindanao-Visayas interconnection at ‘yung Cebu-Negros-Panay interconnection upgrading dahil labis ang supply ng kuryente sa Mindanao. Pero delayed ang construction ng NGCP sa mga ito,” said Gatchalian.

(The blackout could have been avoided if the Mindanao-Visayas interconnection and the Cebu-Negros-Panay interconnection upgrading were completed because the electricity supply in Mindanao is excessive. But the construction of the NGCP on them was delayed.) has sought NGCP’s comment on the matter via email, but it has yet to respond as of posting time.

The corporation, however, earlier disputed allegations suggesting that “NGCP failed in its obligation to stabilize the transmission system,” saying that the power outage arose from “unplanned shutdowns of power generators.”


“Rather than using NGCP as a scapegoat, we urge policymakers to be objective in their search for facts and not coddle certain sectors. This is not a time to push personal or political agendas, but a time for honest-to-goodness solution finding. We again reiterate our push for a comprehensive industry-wide approach to resolve the persistent power supply issues on Panay Island and elsewhere in the country,” NGCP said then.

“With this, NGCP assures our stakeholders that we will continue to work closely with concerned government agencies and LGUs to expedite the resolution of this issue,” it added.


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TAGS: NGCP, power outage

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