Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Monday requested that the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) offer a formal clarification regarding its alleged expenditure of P8.7 billion on janitorial services.

Hontiveros initially brought up the concern during the Senate finance committee meeting focused on the budget proposal for the Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Regulatory Commission, and other government agencies related to energy.

“Gusto ko sanang malaman kung bakit isa sa napakalaking expense item ng NGCP ay ang P8.7 billion para sa security and janitorial services. Napakalaki po, major expense item sa financial statement ng corporation, kasunod lang sa repairs and maintenance,” Hontiveros said during the meeting last Friday.

In an interview with Senate media on Monday, Hontiveros expressed her astonishment at the amount in question.

“‘Yung talagang lumundag sa papel, billions of pesos para sa janitorial services. Kaya natanong ko talaga sa (DOE) budget hearing, marami bang dumi sa NGCP?” Hontiveros said.

“Ganoon kamahal kailangang gastusin sa janitorial services, samantalang super delayed ang mga proyektong dapat isinasagawa nila sa grid ayon sa kanilang prangkisa, at super mahal pa rin at hindi 100 percent ang access ng mga FIlipino consumers at pamilya sa kuryente,” she added.

Hontiveros has consistently voiced her criticisms of the NGCP, as the corporation’s role and obligations encompass ensuring that the nation’s transmission assets are maintained in a state that allows for the secure, high-quality, and dependable transmission of electricity.

Even though NGCP operates as a public utility under private ownership, it is obligated to disclose its expenditures to Congress since it is the legislative branch that grants the company its franchise. John Ezekiel J. Hirro