Marcos welcomes NGCP-NICA deal to fend off cyberattacks
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), citing its importance in fending off cyberattacks on energy infrastructure.
“There have been fears that the involvement of any foreign entity in our power transmission system would present a security threat to the Philippines. Well, this is a very good step towards answering that challenge,” the president said in his speech after the MOU signing held in Malacañang.
“It is but one step because we are continuing to do this not only with NGCP. But we are developing our cybersystems so that we are secure and so that the data that we need to collect and to disseminate is available to us, and we are able to do and handle that data in a secure fashion without the risk of it being used somehow against the Philippines,” he added.
Under the MOU, NICA is tasked with integrating collected intelligence information from various government instrumentalities, make an analysis, assess the data, and recommend actions in safeguarding the NGCP’s transmission assets.
The NGCP, on the other hand, can share vital information on energy-related security issues and provide technical advice to the NICA.
Through the MOU, NICA commits to supply the NGCP with intelligence information to support the protection of power transmission assets that the NGCP operates and maintains across the country, while it commits to provide technical assistance to Nica to support and strengthen its cybersecurity capability.
The NGCP forged the MOU with NICA to deal with attacks from lawless elements after experiencing sabotage and bombing incidents in the past that resulted in injury to its personnel as well as military escorts patrolling the transmission operator’s area of jurisdiction.
The NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s state-owned power grid, an interconnected system that transmits gigawatts of power from generators to consumers.
NICA is the primary intelligence gathering and analysis arm of the government carrying out overt, covert, and clandestine intelligence activities.