Tulfo to Marcos: China’s ownership of NGCP may pose a national threat
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Raffy Tulfo on Tuesday said he warned President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. of the possible severe national security threat brought about by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), being partly owned by China.
Tulfo said he met with Marcos in Malacañang on Monday, telling the President how the Chinese ownership of NGCP may pose a national security threat considering the current conflict between China and the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
According to Tulfo, NGCP, the country’s energy grid systems operator, is 40% owned by the State Grid Corporation of China, while 60% of its capital stakes are Filipino-owned.
Tulfo, who chairs the Senate committee on energy, proposed to return the system’s operation of the country’s transmission grid to the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo), a government entity, and leave its maintenance to NGCP.
The senator claimed an intel report divulging that with China’s ownership of NGCP, China can access the country’s national grid and sabotage it remotely.
He also said all instructions posted in NGCP plants about operations of sensitive equipment, including manuals, are written in Chinese characters; no Filipino technician knows how to operate this.
There are also different violations of NGCP in its franchise contract, such as its failure to follow timely development and connectivity in the primary grid of energy power in various provinces, Tulfo claimed.
He said these concerns and lapses are enough reasons for the government to cancel the franchise of NGCP.
He added that a big part of the billions of pesos earned by NGCP is going to the shareholders and not on system development.
While China’s ownership of NGCP is only 40%, Tulfo said, under the shareholder’s agreement, they have the power to veto or junk the board resolution of majority shareholders.
“Sa madaling salita, magagawa ng Chinese shareholders ang lahat ng kanilang gusto pagdating sa pamamalakad ng NGCP. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit ngayon ay nagkakagewang-gewang ang ating energy situation,” the senator said in a statement.
(In other words, Chinese shareholders can do whatever they can in the operations of the NGCP. This is why our energy situation is dire.)
According to the senator, Marcos supposedly agreed with Tulfo’s suggestions as long as they would benefit Filipinos.
Due to said possible national security threat and lapses in transmission being operated by NGCP, Tulfo has filed Senate Resolution (SR) No. 609 seeking to investigate the corporation.
In the resolution, Tulfo cited reports indicating the NGCP reportedly failed to perform its mandate to contract ancillary providers following the Department of Energy (DOE) requirements.
It can be recalled that the Luzon grid was recently placed under red and yellow alerts, with several areas reporting power outages.
The prolonged power interruptions in Panay and Negros took place over the past weeks due to inadequacies in the transmission system being operated by the NGCP, Tulfo said.