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Raffy Tulfo raises concern over 40% stake of China firm in NGCP; grid operator assures Filipinos operate system

Senator Raffy Tulfo on Wednesday raised concerns about China’s role in the operation of the country’s power transmission grid as State Grid Corporation of China owns 40% stake in the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

During the Senate energy panel hearing, Tulfo asked what are the roles of Chinese investors in the operations of NGCP as he pointed out that the grid operator controls a “very sensitive facility.”

Tulfo, who chairs the committee, also asked if the Chinese “ay nasa pasilidad (are in the facility)?”

NGCP president and CEO Anthony Almeda confirmed that State Grid of China has a 40% stake in NGCP, however, the controlling 60% still belongs to Filipino companies.

In particular, Henry Sy Jr.’s Monte Oro Grid Resources Corporation and Robert Coyiuto Jr.’s  Calaca High Power Corporation hold a 30% stake each in NGCP.

Almeda said the roles of officials from State Grid of China are merely board members of NGCP and they cannot intervene in the operations of the power transmission grid.

"I would like to assure the committee and our chairman that I am in control of the company and that the Chinese that are here or not here are all board directors and they do not manage the company. I do all the daily activities of our transmission. Rest assured to the committee that I am in control of the company as a Filipino,” the NGCP chief said.

Almeda said the State Grid of China’s function is merely for technical support.

“Rest assured that we Filipinos are in charge of the company,” he said.

The NGCP consortium holds a 25-year concession contract and the 50-year franchise to operate the power transmission network, consists of Monte Oro Grid, Calaca High Power Corporation, and State Grid of China.

The NGCP earlier said the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)—the system that controls the grid—is operated only by authorized Filipino technical experts of NGCP.—AOL, GMA News