This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
MANILA, Philippines– The Philippines’ power grid operator may be compelled to refund customers billions of pesos after regulators found that it earned more than the allowed level.
Preliminary findings of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) found that the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) should only earn up to P183.49 billion from 2016 to 2022, or an average of P36.7 billion yearly.
The NGCP, however, claimed a total of P387.80 billion or an annual average of P77.56 billion.
The ERC is currently reviewing the performance and rates of NGCP after it did not conduct a rate reset after 2015.
The regulator clarified that the allowable revenue rate is not yet final and will still be subjected to public and stakeholder comments.
“If there are no revisions to the amounts under the initial determination, then refunds will be due. We are targeting to complete the process within the year,” said ERC Chair Monalisa Dimalanta.
NGCP Assistant Vice President Cynthia Alabanza blamed ERC, branding the move as “unfair,” for not conducting a rate reset despite their requests.
“Bago ka maglaro, dapat alam mo ang rules, kaya to apply this retroactively, iniisip namin na kulang sa fairness iyong ganoong desisyon,” she said, insisting that rules should be forward-looking to have a level playing field.
(Before you play, you need to know the rules, and applying this retroactively is not fair.)
Alabanza warned that ERC’s pronouncements will have a “long-term impact not only on NGCP but on the consumers and other businesses as well.”
She also defended the expenses made by the NGCP, noting that these are “legitimate business costs.”
Meanwhile, NGCP also responded to the report of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism which said that the grid operator billed P2.4 billion worth of corporate social responsibility projects and public relations-related expenses to consumers.
NGCP said these expenses are part of the business expenses applied and were approved by the ERC.
“Like any other business, all legitimate business expenses are included to determine pricing. NGCP is a highly regulated entity where our revenue is capped, margins are determined by regulators, expenses reviewed and rationalized, and our recoveries regulated. Whatever we bill our customers is only what the regulator allows us to,” said NGCP. –Rappler.com