November 20, 2019 at 11:30 pm
China is capable of paralyzing the energy supply in the entire country through a remote control, according to National Transmission Company President Atty. Melvin Matibag.
Matibag made thee disclosure during the Senate hearing on the proposed budget of the Department of Energy.
He said China and other possible hackers can do this due to the newly-installed remote monitoring and control system in the transmission lines of electricity being run by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
Matibag said the transmission line is the lone ‘daluyan’ ng kuryente’ coming from different plants nationwide going to the distribution facilities like Meralco. It was in 2009 when this was sold to the government.
The State Grid of China purchased 40 percent of the shares which has used remote monitoring and control system.
In the budget deliberations, Senator Risa Hontiveros directly asked if China can tap the system via remote control and if the Chinese or foreigners will operate this.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian who defended the DOE budget said he was informed by the Transco President that this can be done due to the modern technology and software in communication.
At this point, Hontiveros warned of the dangers in the national security especially since Transco officials admitted they were not given regular and full access in the transmission lines.
Senator Richard Gordon echoed the same warning on the threats to national security since the DOE and Transco that State Grid of China can also bring there their communication facilities.
“Dahil pwede aniyang maputulan tayo ng kuryente ng China, pwede pa silang mang espiya sa komunikasyon. Facilities,” Gordon said.
However, Gatchalian said the DOE and Transco told him there were safeguards.
Gatchalian said that if China will sabotage the country’s electricity supply, the President can take over the operations, as he cited the availability of
technology to control it manually for the return of power supply within 24 to, 48 hours.
He added that this issue has been regularly tackled by energy officials and the President during the cluster meetings of the Cabinet.
Gatchalian, however, vowed to call for a Joint Congressional Oversight Commission to talk about national security concerns on this matter.