PH gov’t may ‘take back’ NGCP control – Palace

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 17) — The control over the country’s power grid may be restored to the government, Malacañang has said, as some senators moved to investigate the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

“If necessary, the government will take back control of the entity,” the Palace said in a statement on Monday.

The Palace also said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. “agreed” with Sen. Raffy Tulfo’s proposal to scrutinize the performance of the NGCP by conducting “a comprehensive study or hold hearings to determine the actual situation.”

During his meeting with Marcos, the lawmaker also raised the potential risks in the Chinese government’s partial ownership of the NGCP.

READ: Chinese ownership may put NGCP at risk – Tulfo

The State Grid Corporation of China has a 40% stake in NGCP, while 60% is held by investment group Synergy Grid and Development Philippines of Henry Sy Jr. and Roberto Coyiuto Jr.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Tulfo said the Chinese ownership of NGCP presents a “serious national security threat” given the tension in the West Philippine Sea.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros also expressed her support for regaining full control of the grid.

Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said that while the Department of Energy “appreciates” the concern of Hontiveros, they would still have to wait for the completed audit report on the security aspects of the transmission system.

Sen. Chiz Escudero, however, said the plan, if pushes through, “might send a wrong signal to existing potential investors.”