Review of EPIRA sought

May 25, 2023 PS Jun M. Sarmiento 54 views

SENATOR Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Wednesday called for a review of Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), citing its failure to bring down electricity rates across the country.
Ejercito said the privatization of energy companies failed to promote competition, which was expected to push down the price of electricity across the board.

“The intention was really to encourage competition and bring down the prices of electricity. Ang nangyari po, natuloy po ang privatization ng NAPOCOR power plants, pati ng transmission. Ang di lang natuloy ay yung pagbaba ng presyo ng kuryente. Ang EPIRA, mukhang ipinera lang,” he said.

The EPIRA was enacted in 2001, aiming to restructure the country’s energy sector and deregulate and privatize the power industry.

However, widespread power outages in different parts of the country and the high cost of electricity have prompted lawmakers to study possible amendments to the said law.

Aside from conducting a review of the EPIRA, the lawmaker from San Juan said Congress and pertinent agencies should also look into the performance of energy companies operating in the country.

This includes the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which recently became embroiled in controversy after lawmakers discovered that around 40 percent of the said company is currently owned by State Gride Corporation of China.

“It’s about time that we consider review of EPIRA as a whole and likewise conduct a performance audit on the different entities, including the NGCP, whether they are performing up to par,” Ejercito said.

Ejercito said such an audit would be timely, given the country’s ongoing disputes with China.

“It’s more than the performance. It’s a national security issue,” he said.