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PH’s power grid hounded by security threats, countermeasures on – Esperon

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 10:08 AM February 03, 2020

MANILA,  Philippines – National  Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. admitted on Monday that there are security threats to the country’s power grid but assured that certain measures may be adopted to address the same.

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Esperon made this admission at the hearing of the  Senate Committee on Energy amid lingering security concerns raised over China’s alleged control of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

READ: NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers

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Immediately after opening the hearing, committee chairman  Senator Sherwin Gatchalian asked Esperon pointblank if there is any danger or threat to national security as far as the country’s transmission grid is concerned.

“Meron bang  banta sa ating seguridad, meron bang banta sa pambansang seguridad pagdating sa national transmission grid?”  Gatchalian asked.

“This actually is a lingering question in many of the legislatures and I want to answer that basic question during the course of this hearing,” he further said.

Esperon said he is prepared to brief the committee but requested that the same be made in an executive session.

READ: Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid

“I d say it (the briefing) would be better appreciated if we will do it in an executive session if that will be approved by the committee chair and the members because there are technical matters that we can’t as yet tell the—not really to the public— but to some parties that may be so interested in the workings of the NGCP, both hostile as well as friendly,” he said.

“But I must that on the basic question, is there any danger  (or) any threat in so far as the national grid is concerned? There are , there are. But I’d caution immediately against  being in panic about it because there are also measures  that we can adopt  to allow NGCP as its doing now to continue operations…” Esperon  added.

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He said they would discuss said measures in a closed-door briefing with the committee.

NGCP is a consortium of three corporations— Monte Oro Grid Resources Corporation, Calaca High Power Corporation, and the State Grid Corporation of China.

But the state-owned electric utility monopoly of China reportedly has a 40-percent stake in the country’s power grid.

Opposition Senator  Risa Hontiveros earlier  claimed that  with just “ the flick of a switch, China could plunge the whole Philippines into darkness.”

GSG
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TAGS: China, Energy, Hermogenes Esperon, NGCP, power grid, Security
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