Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told a Senate energy committee hearing Monday that he was not aware of the country’s power supply exposure to sabotage.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. for his part admitted there were security threats to the country’s power grid but guaranteed certain measures might be adopted to address the same.
They were reacting to questions raised by Senator Win Gatchalian who pressed Esperon on any danger or threat to national security as far as the country’s power supply was concerned.
National Grid Corporation of the Philippines president Anthony Almeda stressed they were not objecting to an audit, but insisted it should be done by the Energy Regulatory Commission and not the DOE and Transco.
At the Senate committee on energy hearing, Almeda also guaranteed that Filipinos were in control of the power grid and China was not capable of shutting it off.
“This actually is a lingering question in many of the legislatures and I want to answer that basic question during the course of this hearing,” said Esperon.
“But I must say that on the basic question, is there any danger or any threat in so far as the national grid is concerned? There are, there are. But I’d caution immediately against being in panic about it because there are also measures that we can adopt to allow NGCP as it’s doing now to continue operations,” he added.
Cusi also told the Senate panel they still had to conduct an audit of NGCP because NGCP has even elevated the issue before a court.
He also guaranteed that Filipinos were in control of the power grid and China was not capable of shutting it off.
Gatchalian questioned why the NGCP Technical officer was a Chinese.
He quizzed energy and NGCP officials why the supervision and running of the “intestine” of the country’s power line given to a foreigner.
It was also discovered that there were 100 cyber attacks in the NGCP in a matter of only two weeks which were not disclosed to concerned government agencies.
The committee has given the ERC until Feb. 10 to submit its audit report. From there, Gatchalian said the committee will make a recommendation if the NGCP franchise would be recalled.
NGCP is a consortium of three corporations—Monte Oro Grid Resources Corporation, Calaca High Power Corporation, and the State Grid Corporation of China.