Energy chief says power grid operator NGCP refused inspection

Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 17 2019 04:07 PM | Updated as of Dec 17 2019 07:46 PM

MANILA - The refusal of the Filipino-Chinese consortium NGCP to undergo inspection is the problem in the country's power transmission infrastructure, Manila's energy chief said Tuesday.

China, by itself, is "not the problem," Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told reporters. A full inspection will quell the public's worries over Beijing's reported control over the grid.

The National Grid Corp or NGCP, a private firm, operates the grid, which connects power plants to distribution utilities. The grid infrastructure is owned by government through Transco or National Transmission Corp.

"Hihintayin pa ba nilang magwala si Pangulo? ang issue kasi rito is security, welfare of the people" he added. 

(Are they waiting for the President to get angry? The issue here is security, welfare of the people)

TransCo and some lawmakers earlier raised concerns that China could remotely control the grid. The NGCP denied this, saying that Filipinos have exclusive control over the transmission infrastructure. 

There could be abuse in NGCP's refusal to undergo inspection of the facilities owned by Transco, Energy Usec. Wimpy Fuentebella said.

In a statement, NGCP said it was "focusing its energies and resources to the restoration of the damage wrought by Typhoon Tisoy." It would assess the letters sent by the DOE "after work restoration is completed," the NGCP said.