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Poe: Senate public services panel ready to review NGCP franchise

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The Senate public services committee is prepared to evaluate the 25-year legislative franchise granted to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, its chairperson, Senator Grace Poe said Tuesday.

The lawmaker issued a statement after her colleagues filed a resolution calling for the review of the grid operator’s legislative franchise—a privilege granted by Congress to public utilities operators. 

“A review of the NGCP franchise is within the powers of Congress to determine whether the grantee should shape up or ship out. For a franchise as critical as the operation and management of power transmission lines, there should be no room for inefficiency, mismanagement or blunders,” Poe said.

The recurring power disruptions in Panay Island showed “something needs fixing,” Poe noted.

“We need to see if the NGCP is keeping up with its obligations under its franchise. Our Senate committee on public services is always geared up to conduct a review,” she added.

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros and Senator Imee Marcos both filed separate resolutions seeking to look into the franchise of NGCP as they asked the Senate to investigate the latest massive blackout in several provinces in Western Visayas.

Panay Island was hit by a massive power outage last week due to a multiple tripping of power plants on the island.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Friday said the island power situation had returned to normal as affected power plants in Iloilo were working again.

The Department of Energy (DOE) blamed the NGCP for the power outage as it expressed support for a review of the grid operator’s congressional franchise.

Even President Ferdinand ”Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday stressed that accountability lies with the NGCP given that the agency is tasked to ensure grid stability. The President said NGCP had time to prevent the massive power outage in Panay Island.

For its part, the NGCP stood by its position that the system prior to the multiple tripping was “normal” and that their actions “were undertaken within protocols.” 

“We firmly refute allegations suggesting that NGCP failed in its obligation to stabilize the transmission system,” the grid operator said in a statement. —VAL, GMMA Integrated News

Read more, click here: GMA News

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