THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will hold a virtual hearing next year to assess the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines’ (NGCP) request to collect Force Majeure (FM) Pass-Through charges to compensate it for damage caused by typhoons and earthquakes last year.

The first part of the virtual hearing is scheduled on Jan. 19, in which the ERC will determine the NGCP’s legal compliance after hearing the grid company’s presentation.

The ERC also solicited comment from stakeholders with a deadline of one day before the hearing. “The Commission shall give priority to the stakeholders who have duly submitted their respective comments and/or clarifications, to discuss the questions during the course of the presentation,” the ERC said in a statement.

The second part of the hearing is scheduled for Jan. 27, and will consist of a pre-trial conference and presentation of evidence.

In October, the NGCP asked the ERC to approve the collection of FM Pass-Through charges to recover costs in rehabilitating transmission assets and facilities that were damaged by typhoons Tisoy (international name: Kammuri) and Ursula (international name: Phanfone), and various earthquakes in Mindanao in 2019.

“The proposed charge will be reflected as additional network charges for end-users from January 2021 up to December 2025, or until such time that the amounts incurred are fully recovered,” the NGCP said.

The prospective charge will start at P0.35 kilowatt per month (kW-mo) in 2021 for consumers in Luzon. Meanwhile, the suggested amounts for Visayas and Mindanao consumers will start at P0.8742 and P0.2178 kW-mo, respectively next year. — Angelica Y. Yang