Alleged China control of PH power grid ‘completely groundless’ — Chinese exec
MANILA, Philippines — A Chinese official has brushed off as “completely groundless” reports that his country may control and remotely shut down the country’s power transmission system with the 40 percent stake of the State Grid Corp. of China’s (SGCC) in the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
“The allegation of China’s control over the Philippines’ power grid or threat to the country’s national security is completely groundless,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang at a press conference on Wednesday.
Geng insisted that operations are “operated, managed and maintained by the Philippine side,” adding that the Chinese partner is only offering technical support if requested.
“To my knowledge, the State Grid Corporation of China took part in the Transco project as a cooperation partner, providing safe, efficient and high-quality electricity services,” Geng said.
Geng hopes that “certain individuals” in the country will be “open, objective and impartial” in looking at the country’s cooperation with China.
The Chinese official said that Chinese businesses are fulfilling social responsibilities such as the “Brighten Up” project which brings electricity in remote areas in the Philippines.
“The Philippines is China’s close and friendly neighbor as well as an important partner. We support Chinese businesses’ pursuit of practical, win-win cooperation in the Philippines in accordance with laws and regulations,” Geng said.
“There is no need to worry about the sky falling or imagine trouble where there is none,” the Chinese official added.
Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier filed a resolution urging the Senate to look into the alleged access and control given to China over the country’s power grid system.
“We need to know for certain if our energy systems and infrastructure fully remain under Filipino control, and if we have implemented the technical safeguards needed to prevent foreign interference in or sabotage of our national electricity grid,” Hontiveros said.
“If these reports are true, these vulnerabilities pose a grave risk to public infrastructure, to national security, and to the daily lives of our people. We must address and correct these flaws immediately,” the senator added.
The NGCP, meanwhile, said that “there is nothing to be alarmed about the stake by (SGCC) in NGCP as its investment is limited only to being a technical adviser.”
The NGCP is a private firm created in 2009 through the Republic Act 9511 which is tasked to operate, maintain, and develop the country’s state-owned power grid.