NBI ready to probe GenCos on power outages – DOJ

Published June 3, 2021, 1:55 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Department of Justice

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is ready to investigate possible violations committed by power generation companies (GenCos) amidst the electricity shortage facing Luzon.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra made the assurance on Thursday, June 3, after the Department of Energy (DOE) said it has sought the help of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in conducting an investigation.

However, Guevarra said the DOJ has yet to receive a formal request for investigation. “I will alert the NBI to stand by and prepare to investigate,” he said.

The ERC was reported to have served summons to at least 17 GenCos “to explain the unplanned outages that breached the maximum allowable unplanned outage days per year.”

Last Wednesday, June 2, DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentabella said that DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi has already instructed DOE lawyers to look into the possibility of filing charges against the GenCos.

Fuentebella said: “We are in the process of gathering pieces of evidence.”

He reminded GenCos to comply with the existing regulations, including the ban against undergoing preventive maintenance in April, May and June except for hydropower plants.

“Pero kung patuloy ang hindi pag-comply, wala tayong magagawa (But if the non-compliance continues, we have no choice). We have to impose the discipline that is necessary because at the end of the day, consumers are suffering,” he warned.