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NGCP wants to charge Luzon customers with P10M due to typhoon damages

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) plans to collect from its Luzon customers P10 million worth of damage cost incurred by the onslaught of Tropical Depression Josie to one of its facilities last year.

According to a report by Lei Alviz in GMA’s 24 Oras on Thursday, the Olongapo City substation of the NGCP was damaged due to flood.

The expenses to repair the substation amounted to P10 million and the company plans to recover it by collecting additional charges from its 12.3 million customers after the damage cost was not covered by insurance.

The NGCP recently applied for a provisional authority from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) which will enable them to pass the damage cost to its customers.

This move was pursuant to the ERC rule which allows the transfer of expenses to consumers in case of force majeure events such as natural calamities.

“Hindi rin nila kasalanan kasi force majeure nga, wala namang gustong bumagyo, wala namang gustong mag-flash flood so ang ide-determine mo na lang doon ano ‘yung ni-reinvest niya, anong part ang reasonable na kolektahin mula sa consumer,” ERC spokesperson Atty. Rexie Digal said.

“Depende ‘yan sa pag-aaral at evaluation ng komisyon. Siyempre any additional na singil, masakit sa consumers. Kung halimbawa ma-determine ito talaga reasonable, karapat-dapat na marecover, ang isang pwedeng gawin, ‘yung recovery period pwede niyang habaan ‘yun,” she added.

Based on ERC’s computation, a household that consumes 200 Kilowatt-hours will pay a lump sum of P0.50 for the said damage.

The NGCP, however, plans to charge it in installment to its customers from October 2019 to December 2020.

The consumer group Laban Konsyumer does not agree with the said plan and called for the repeal of the ERC rule which provides for such move.

“Pwede naman nilang i-absorb as expense ‘yung P10 million, that is deductible from their income tax. Di ko alam bakit dapat palagi na lang ang kanilang solution to recover is pass it on to the consumers,” said Laban Konsyumer president Atty. Vic Dimagiba.

The NGCP did not accept GMA News’ request for an interview about the matter. —Dona Magsino/LDF, GMA News