Chinese as technical advisers of NGCP?

OPINION
By RUFFY MAGBANUA
November 28, 2019

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IN a statement issued lately, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has justified the presence of Chinese engineers employed in the country’s power transmission network as mere technical advisers, no more, no less.

But to enlist  these Chinese engineers as technical advisers would translate to NGCP’s incompetence in managing the country’s transmission highway.  

As NGCP technical advisers, the Chinese  has reportedly no access to the Grid’s control system.

Yet no less than the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) has declared these Chinese are  capable of shutting off the grid’s transmission facilities remotely at any given time.

In a  recent Senate  budget hearing, the  Department of  Energy (DOE) has justified  as well that the State Grid Corporation of China which has a 40 percent stake in the power transmission system  can switch off  power grid remotely with devastating effect on the country’s national security.

Further, reports  has disclosed that the State Grid of China allegedly changed portions of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines' (NGCP) system instructions into Chinese and allowed Chinese nationals to operate the transmission system - freely and with gusto!

That said, the Movement for Brown out Free Mindanao is now calling the  Senate  for the immediate revocation of China’s 40 percent stake in the the country’s lone power transmission facility.  

If the State Grid of China will go berserk, and  would want to jeopardize the country’s economy, it  will just have to switch off the entire transmission facilities - from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao.

This scenario  is not far-fetched because State Grid of China has a technical staff are embedded  at the very nerve of the transmission grid.

Helpless as it were, what the NGCP has been doing through the years is just  applying  the ‘wait and see’ security measures  — monitor and record  from a distance China's stake in the country's vital power infrastructure.

The entry of foreign partner into the country’s energy sector, in this case the power transmission facility was a product of shortsightedness  on the part of lawmakers who penned the RA 9316 otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 and RA 9511, granting franchise to NGCP, a consortium of Filipino and Chinese power players.  

For reason of survival, NGCP  has again justified its existence by setting aside fears that its business alliance and technical partner State Grid of China would shut down the country’s  transmission highway.

But the Senate message is loud and clear: it’s not about business, it’s all about the national security of the state. (ruffy44_ph2000@yahoo.com)


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