MANILA — The government may take back control of the National Grid Corp of the Philippines if proven that there are national security concerns and if it's ineffective in its mandate, the Presidential Communications Office said on Wednesday.
The Palace released the statement after Sen. Raffy Tulfo, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Energy, met with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on May 15 to express his intent to investigate the situation at NGCP.
"Firstly, Senator Tulfo expressed his desire to assess the performance of the NGCP, which has also raised concerns among several other senators. Secondly, Senator Tulfo aimed to examine the security aspect, particularly on who truly controls the corporation," the PCO said in a statement.
"The President agreed with the Senator's proposal to conduct a comprehensive study or hold hearings to determine the actual situation. If necessary, the government will take back control of the entity," it added.
Forty percent of NGCP is owned by the State Grid Corporation of China, while the remaining 60 percent is Filipino-owned. Tulfo said the Chinese ownership "poses a serious national security threat", considering the conflict over the West Philippine Sea.
Sen. JV Ejercito also expressed concerns over the State Grid Corporation of China's 40 percent stake in NGCP.
Sen. Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, backed by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, also said the panel was open to "reviewing" the NGCP franchise, citing the recurring power outages.
Meanwhile, Sen. Risa Hontiveros earlier renewed her call for the government to regain control of the NGCP.
NGCP is the country's core grid system operator.