NGCP’s Big Boy Sy, Robert Coyiuto tell ERC: Prioritize national economic recovery and energy stability over self-interest

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) expressed disappointment over the move of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to impose a P5.1 million fine for its alleged non-compliance with certain regulations.

“It seems that duplicity is still the name of the game, and we are still dealing with the same economically motivated political maneuvers,” said the transmission network operator led by ultra bilyonaryo Henry Big Boy Sy and insurance and automotive magnate Robert Coyiuto.

In its decision dated October 24, the ERC considered NCP’s failure to submit and publish its terms of reference and invitation to bid as violation.

“The ERC underscores the fact that no amount of monetary penalty can sufficiently equate to or compensate for the willful disregard by NGCP of validly issued regulations of the Philippine government and its administrative agencies,” the regulator said.

“The ERC issues a stern warning to NGCP that its non-compliance with laws, rules, orders, and regulations issued by authorities may result in the cancellation of its certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) and the endorsement by the ERC to the Philippine Congress of the revocation of its legislative franchise,” it said.

NGCP countered that the “alleged willful disregard mentioned by the ERC has to be put in the proper context, and our acts shouldn’t be taken in isolation.”

“We were wary and defensive, given the overtly biased and intrusive political atmosphere prevailing at the time. The relentless attacks we suffered and the fault-finding where there was no fault to be found was a clear indication to us that this, and other contemporaneous moves undertaken by certain players in the industry, were part of a larger, orchestrated plan to put their economic interests above ours, even at the expense of the consumers,” NGCP said.

NGCP said it welcomed the new leadership and the fresh start it offered, hoping to foster a more cooperative working relationship, as it did with DOE officials before 2016.

“This was the tone we wanted to set when messers. Sy and [Anthony] Almeda paid a courtesy call to the newly installed DOE leadership about two months ago. This very issue on the AS CSP submission was raised by the secretary, and the appropriate submissions to the DOE were made within hours of that first meeting. As if timed to the hour, the ERC show cause was issued the next day,” it said.

“The common backgrounds in the leadership are not by coincidence; they are clearly by design,” the company said.

“Still, we are not unwilling to work with the industry leadership if vested interests are set aside and fairness made to prevail. We are still hopeful that national economic recovery and energy stability will be prioritized above self-interest,” it added.

ERC to look into complaints of overcharging by power firms

Numerous complaints on increasing electricity rates have prompted the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to launch an investigation on the accuracy and reasonableness of the generation rates being passed on by distribution utilities (DUs) to its consumers.