BIZ BUZZ: NGCP drowning in audits | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: NGCP drowning in audits

/ 02:14 AM October 09, 2023

For a company that is supposedly “noncompliant” and averse to being audited, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) is—at the risk of overusing a word—exceedingly audited.

That’s why many industry insiders were boggled when the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) publicly stated that the agency was having difficulty obtaining information from the NGCP, and that legal remedies might be necessary to compel the company to release data for their performance audit.

In fact, no legal remedies are needed to force NGCP to open its books. There is a far simpler and less painful solution available. But more on that later.


First, the numbers. So far, NGCP has undergone a total of 22 audits on various aspects of its operations, six of which were completed by the ERC itself.


As of this writing, they have been audited (or are currently being audited by) the Department of Energy, the Bureau of Customs, the National Security Council, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Philippine Electricity Market Corp., the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., and Transco. Ten more audits by the ERC and Transco are awaiting final output.

Clearly, NGCP does not mind disclosing their sensitive and confidential data to regulators and official agencies. On the other hand, the recipients of this data should reasonably protect this information, and ensure that only the correct and qualified personnel be allowed to comb through it. This is where the issue seems to lie.

Last year, the ERC conducted a cybersecurity audit on NGCP, and used a third-party company to supervise it. Curiously, the assigned consultant refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement, but NGCP insisted. Months later, the very same company—Deloitte—was embroiled in a global data hacking scandal. Whoops.

Since then, the NGCP has learned its lesson, and now requires three simple things before subjecting themselves to an audit: a signed nondisclosure agreement, the background and qualifications of the personnel conducting the audit, and a summary of the audit methodology.

The ball appears to be in the ERC’s court, and any delays might be quickly resolved as soon as they provide these basic requirements.

—Daxim L. Lucas

Smart: best in test

German-based third-party testing company umlaut again recognized Smart Communications as the “best in test” award for fast internet speeds and quality.


The “best in test” award, which Smart has bagged since 2019, comes amid significant upgrades to its fixed line and mobile networks over several years.

Smart posted an overall score of 745 out of 1,000 points in the umlaut report. This were taken from over 1.9 billion samples collected from February to July this year.

“Our investments over the years in strengthening our integrated fixed and wireless networks have enabled us to deliver enhanced mobile services to our subscribers across the country,” PLDT and Smart network head Eric Santiago said.

“These will also support our vision to become the undisputed network leader in the Philippines, delivering innovative solutions in the most cost-effective ways,” he added.

— Miguel R. Camus

On IKEA’s famous meatballs

The local entity of Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA has good news for Filipino fans of Swedish meatballs: this iconic offering is still available at IKEA Philippines in Pasay City although the government temporarily banned pork imports from Sweden recently.

Steven Ong, country food manager of IKEA Philippines, says their stock of Swedish meatballs was produced before Aug. 6 or almost two months before the Department of Agriculture (DA) imposed the importation ban due to reported cases of African swine fever.

“We are not affected by the DA’s ban, which means our customers in the Philippines will still be able savor the delight of our iconic offering at the Swedish Food Market and Swedish Restaurant at IKEA Pasay City,” Ong tells Biz Buzz in a message.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Currently, IKEA offers different Swedish-style food and drinks at its Swedish Café, Swedish Bistro and Swedish Food Market at its flagship store. Customers can also buy the popular Swedish meatballs to whip up a delicious dish (or two) at home.

— Jordeene B. Lagare
TAGS: Biz Buzz, Business

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.