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While the power transmission system will be fully-operated by Filipinos starting next July, the Chinese state-owned firm will continue to own 40 percent of the capital stock of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), according to the Energy chief on Wednesday.
"The State Grid of China may own 40 percent of NGCP, but what really matters most is who is running the operation," Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla told GMA News Online via text message.
"Hence we agreed, including NGCP, that by July, technical and management of the operations will be done by Filipinos," he noted.
In a meeting in the second quarter of 2014, Philippine officials and NGCP management agreed that the visas of 18 Chinese technical experts, which expire in July, will no longer be renewed.
NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Perez-Alabanza declined to comment on the matter. "We have no comment at this time," she said.
On Monday, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago questioned the 40 percent equity ownership of the Chinese state-owned firm in NGCP, especially when the Philippines is in a bitter territorial dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea.
NGCP operates the high-voltage system that conveys electricity from power generators to millions of consumers.
Apart from the State Grid Corp. of China, NGCP is majority owned by two Filipino firms – the Monte Oro Grid Corp. which owns 30 per cent and Calaca High Power Corp., which owns the other 30 percent.
The 25-year concession was awarded to the consortium in 2007 and was green-lit by the Senate in November 2008. – VS, GMA News