Press Release
February 3, 2020


Senator Richard J. Gordon probed on Chinese-owned State Grid Corporation's control over management of the country's lone power transmission during the hearing on the operations of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) on Monday.

Gordon, together with Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, and other senators questioned the presence of Chinese nationals in the executive and managerial positions at the NGCP. He also asked why the primary signatories for the Luzon Substation Expansion Project contract in 2011 were Chinese and not Filipinos.

In the copy of the contract presented by Gordon, it showed that a certain Wen Bo signed as the Technical Officer and Zhou Xiaoan as the Country Manager. NGCP President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anthony Almeda who was then Chief Administrative Officer signed only as a witness.

"Why is it only signed in the presence of Anthony Almeda? Foreigners ang pumipirma," Gordon said.

Gordon grilled the NGCP on the use of the NARI Transmission Control Operational Platform system, a remote monitoring and control structure located in China, in running the grid. The system enables the Chinese engineers to troubleshoot, operate and control the NGCP's power transmission network.

"Puwede nilang patayin ang grid natin from China, is that correct? I would be uncomfortable allowing a foreigner to have a connection here. The principal objective is to protect the country on a situation where we will be totally dependent or we do not have control," he said.

Aside from exercising management functions and having control over the power grid, Gordon questioned the NGCP's refusal to allow the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) to conduct audit and inspection of the facility.

"We still own this. We're just leasing this to them or letting them operate it until 2034. So, it is in the interest of the country to make sure that the original investment that we put in remains, is enhanced, is doing what it's supposed to do, and that the people would be able to do what is supposed to do because that is your charter. And because of that, hindi kayo dapat harangin. Never is there any provision that says we are abandoning our claim to the property and that we can always, like a good landlord, check on our properties," he pointed out.

Gordon and other senators pointed out that Article XII Section 2 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states that all lands of the public domain, natural resources such as waters, oils, including all forces of potential energy are owned by the State.

It says that "The exploration, development and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State." Thus, having the State Grid's control over NGCP can be a solid ground for terminating the concessionary agreement between NGCP and State Grid, as the senators explained.

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