24 September, 2002 – The Philippine government today insisted that the privatization of the country’s electricity transmission would mean more efficient power distribution in the country.

In his regular press briefing, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said that it would be to everybody’s interest to have the transmission lines of the National Power Corporation [Napocor] privatized “as soon as possible.” “If these line are privatized, there will be additional inflow of investments. And the operations will be a lot more efficient if the lines are privatized,” Bunye said.

Bunye was commenting on the franchise of the National Transmission Corp. (Transco) that has already been approved by the House of Representatives but is still being debated in the Senate. He said that he agreed with the observation of some sectors that there will be a problem if the Transco franchise bill will not be passed. Bunye said that in theory, there would be a more efficient operation if a private group handled the transmission facilities. “The private group will not be saddled with obligations that are now being carried by the Napocor. So, the cost of transmitting their operations would not be as expensive,” Bunye said.

Energy officials have said that the passage of the Transco franchise bill would help reduce the purchased power adjustment, or the cost of excess electricity generated by independent power producers.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has repeatedly said that the Transco bill and the special purpose assets vehicle bill are vital to her administration’s economic programme.