HOUSE of Representatives Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez suggested that the newly convened Maharlika Investment Corporation (MIC) should consider investing its resources on power grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
“Given these challenges, I propose that the Maharlika Investment Corporation considers investing in the NGCP. This strategic investment could provide essential capital for infrastructure upgrades and help in lowering the cost of electricity for consumers,” Speaker Romualdez said.
Speaker Romualdez was referring to the massive power outage that struck Iloilo City and several provinces in Western Visayas since January 2, 2024.
“I believe that investing in the power sector will set up major benefits for the country,” the Speaker added.
He noted that Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas has expressed strong concerns over the NGCP’s alleged inaction on repeated blackouts.
The House leader said the potential involvement of MIC “could lead to improved efficiency, economic growth, enhanced energy security, support for renewable energy integration, and increased accountability in NGCP’s operations.”
The MIC acts as the steward of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), the Philippines’ first sovereign wealth fund, and is chaired by Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
The MIC Board met for the first time last January 3 to discuss matters such as the Fund’s capitalization and potential projects to tap.
Speaker Romualdez also said that improving the country’s power infrastructure will result to cheaper electricity for the consumers, which would make the country more attractive to foreign investors in terms of operational costs. He said that a strengthened NGCP would hasten the existing interconnectivity plans, thus ensuring that traditionally power-strapped regions during peak usage of electricity would not be left in the dark at any given time.
“The involvement of the Maharlika Investment Corporation could be a significant step towards achieving a reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy infrastructure,” said Romualdez, the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) president.
At any rate, the House leader asked both the NGCP and Department of Energy (DoE) to implement “decisive action and effective collaboration” regarding the Western Visayas blackout.