"Congress should step in and put the NGCP in its proper place."
The recent bouts of unplanned, rotational power failures throughout Luzon have created quite a stir.
“Brownouts,” as these power outages are called locally, are the last things this country’s crowded hospitals need during these deadly times of COVID-19. They also aggravate summer, the time when the demand for electricity is well felt.
Beyond all that inconvenience, the Filipino people should be made aware that Communist China controls the nation’s dependence on electricity. This was made possible by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and his cohorts in the Liberal Party (LP).
To truly understand the mess, a brief backgrounder is in order.
In 2009, the LP-dominated Congress enacted Republic Act No. 9511, the franchise of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). Although the NGCP sounds like a government agency, it is actually a private consortium composed of three corporations -- the Monte Oro Grid Resources Corporation, the Calaca High Power Corporation, and the State Grid Corporation of China (State Grid).
Documents indicate that State Grid is completely owned by the communist government in China, and is touted as the largest utility company in the world.
Under its franchise, the NGCP is a monopoly service operator mandated to manage the national electricity grid of the Philippines in accordance with implementing directives issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Two of those directives are the Philippine Grid Code promulgated by the ERC, and a circular on ancillary services issued by the DOE in 2019. Those directives implement Republic Act No. 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (the EPIRA Law), which was enacted to ensure a continuous supply of electricity in the country at reasonable cost to both residential and industrial consumers.
The national electricity grid is actually a computerized system of inter-connected power plants and power distribution outlets all over the country. It is closely monitored by the NGCP to determine and predict where and when electricity is most needed.
To assure a continuing supply of power at any given area where the demand for it is very pronounced, the NGCP adjusts the grid so that its affiliated power plants, which are expected to be ready at all times, can supply the increased demand for electricity in that particular area.
In converse, the grid rechannels electricity from areas where the demand is less to places where the demand is great.
Under that system, unplanned power failures anywhere are not supposed to happen. Only scheduled power outages can take place, and only for the purpose of grid maintenance and repairs.
So how come the unplanned rotational power failures actually took place all over Luzon weeks ago? The NGCP is to blame for the mess.
Just recently, it was learned that the NGCP adamantly refuses to comply with the Philippine Grid Code of the ERC and the circular on ancillary services of the DOE. In an announcement it posted on social media last week, the NGCP declared that it isn’t bound by the Code and the circular.
Restated, the NGCP said it will not comply with the provisions of both its franchise and the EPIRA Law.
Further, the NGCP allowed several of the power plants affiliated with the national electricity grid to stop operating, on the lame excuse that it is expensive to keep them running continuously.
As a consequence of the NGCP’s improvidence, the sudden rise in the demand for electricity in Luzon weeks ago resulted in a sharp reduction in the available supply of electricity. This triggered the national electricity grid to automatically shut down in random areas of the system, there being no stand-by power plants to provide the needed power. As a result, Filipinos all over Luzon were made to suffer unplanned, rotational power failures, which made the summer heat even more unbearable.
To keep the supply of electricity continuous, the NGCP says it will have to buy electricity from power plants that are not affiliated with the national electricity grid. Because those power plants are free to quote spot prices, the cost of the electricity to be purchased from them will be very expensive.
That anomaly notwithstanding, the NGCP is threatening to increase the cost of electricity to be paid by consumers, if the consortium is required to comply with the Philippine Grid Code and the DOE circular. In other words, the NGCP says that there will be no hikes in electricity bills if it is allowed to get away with its non-compliance with its franchise and the EPIRA Law.
It is quite obvious that Communist China, which controls the NGCP, is using our nation’s demand for electricity as a weapon against the Filipino people. Congress should step in and put the NGCP in its proper place.