Tell it to SunStar: State takeover of national grid operations

By Partido Manggagawa
Tell it to SunStar
Tell it to SunStarSunStar file photo

We reiterate our call for the government to reassume control of the national grid, countering the suggested state investment in the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) through the Maharlika Investment Corp. (MIC), as proposed by House Speaker Martin Romualdez.

We underscore our opposition to the MIC proposal, expressing concern over the diversion of public funds to support what it deems an unsound investment proposal. We have consistently opposed the creation of MIC, and witnessing public funds being diverted to support an unsound investment proposal only strengthens our opposition.

We are arguing that reclaiming control of the national grid operations is the most appropriate alternative, as investing public funds into NGCP through MIC, owned by the country’s wealthiest family and supported by Chinese state capital, is totally unnecessary.

We urge the government to take back the national grid operations, highlighting the historical success of the state’s management of the grid before its privatization in 2008. The national grid was then considered a “crown jewel” among government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), generating an annual net income of at least P20 billion.

Today, it is the NGCP, rather than the state, that accumulates wealth, as revealed in previous Senate investigations. NGCP’s financial statements indicate a total comprehensive income of P306.77 billion in 14 years, with P238.84 billion distributed as dividends to shareholders.

The real issue facing NGCP is performance, not a lack of cash. We contend that pouring more money into NGCP through MIC is unwise and would divert crucial resources from other essential programs.

We likewise suggest that instead of investing further in NGCP, the government should rather consider imposing a wealth tax on windfall profits of power oligarchs to address the government’s own fiscal problems.

NGCP’s problem is performance, not lack of cash. It is the government, on the contrary, which needs more funds; thus, it should also consider imposing a wealth tax against the windfall profits of power oligarchs.

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