Power Watch backs call for security audit of NGCP

Power Watch Negros is backing the call to conduct a national security audit of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), especially on the 40 percent stake of state-controlled State Grid Corporation of China in the country’s transmission service provider.

Power Watch Negros Secretary-General Wennie Sancho said, in a press statement on Friday, January 26, that a thorough reevaluation of the country’s energy security must be a concern as it affects the reliability of power supply and also the national defense.

SGCC is owned and controlled by the People’s Republic of China and it has a 40 percent share in the NGCP and serves as the technical partner of a local consortium that won the bid to privatize the Philippine’s power transmission infrastructure in 2007.

SGCC is 91.68 percent owned and controlled by China central State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) with the remaining 8.32 percent held by the National Council for Social Security Fund, according to Fitch Ratings.

It said the chairman and senior management are appointed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council and the SGCC’s operations and investment are subject to a very high degree of government control and influence, Sancho said.

“If China is at the helm of NGCP, it is dreadful”, he said, adding “Despite assurances from NGCP officials that SGCC has no control over the transmission system, lingering doubts persist”.

The need for an assessment of NGCP has been pushed since 2019 as former Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi indicated that it is not impossible now to operate the power system remotely from anywhere, given that SGCC has 40 percent control.

Sancho said that there is a great danger that looms over NGCP so “ let us not wait while danger gathers and for the blow to fall”.*

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