NGCP raises yellow alert anew over Luzon grid

Robie de Guzman   •   April 30, 2019   •   1156

Courtesy : Pixabay

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) on Tuesday placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert anew due to insufficient operating reserves.

In an advisory, the NGCP said the yellow alert will be in effect from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The NGCP defines yellow alert as a system condition in which the power reserves are lower than the power supply demand.

The grid’s available capacity is 11,405 megawatts (MW) while peak demand is at 10,482MW.

The NGCP said the Department of Energy will release further details on the cause of the issued alert. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Mon Jocson)

Parts of Bicol region still without power after Quinta onslaught

Robie de Guzman   •   October 26, 2020

Widespread disruption of electrical power has been reported in the Bicol Region after the onslaught of Typhoon Quinta, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said Monday.

In an update posted on Twitter, the NGCP said that as of 6 a.m., areas of Sorsogon and Camarines Sur are still without power while supply in Quezon, Albay and Batangas areas have been partially restored.

Power supply in Laguna and Camarines Norte, on the other hand, have returned to normal.

The agency said the loss of power may be caused by transmission facilities  or distribution facilities of local distribution utilities or electric cooperatives affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Quinta.

The agency added that transmission services may be 100 percent restored but energization may not be implemented due to unrestored distribution systems.

“Inspection and restoration of lines in the affected areas will be in full swing as soon as the weather allows,” the NGCP said.

“Please contact your local electric cooperative or distribution utility for updates on distribution system restoration and specific areas affected by the power interruptions, unless the outage affects the entire franchise area,” it added.

The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 5 earlier reported damage and flooding in parts of the region due to heavy rains and strong winds brought about by Typhoon Quinta.

In an initial report, the OCD said around 8,030 families or 24,736 individuals were displaced by the storm and are currently staying in evacuation centers.

Twelve fishermen were also reported missing in Catanduanes.

The local government said the distribution of food packs is ongoing in evacuation centers as it monitors the health and safety of evacuees to avoid possible infection of coronavirus disease inside the crowded shelters. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Bryan Baldaraje)

Security audit of PH power facilities sought in Senate

Robie de Guzman   •   November 27, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday called on her colleagues to investigate the country’s power transmission sector amid concerns on foreign access and control over the power grid system.

Hontiveros saidshe has filed Senate Resolution No. 223 to seek for a legislative inquiry and national security audit of operations and facilities of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) following reports that China could control and remotely shut down the country’s transmission network.

NGCP, the country’s power transmission service provider is 40% owned by the State Grid Corporation of China.

“We need to know for certain if our energy systems and infrastructure fully remain under Filipino control, and if we have implemented the technical safeguards needed to prevent foreign interference in or sabotage of our national electricity grid,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

In her resolution, Hontiveros proposed lawmakers to “review and evaluate the performance of the NGCP,” as well as investigate reports that China may control and remotely shut down the country’s power transmission system.

She pointed to information on ‘foreign executives’ connected with the NGCP who have been hiring and deploying foreign drivers and engineers, in violation of Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution – which requires executive and managing officers of public utilities like NGCP to be Filipino citizens – and the Anti-Dummy Law.

Reports also claim that only Chinese engineers have been able to troubleshoot, operate and control the NGCP’s power transmission facilities “because of the currently-installed information and communication technology for the automatic and remote monitoring and control of said facilities.”

She also noted reports claiming that only Chinese engineers have been able to troubleshoot, operate and control the NGCP’s power transmission facilities “because of the currently-installed information and communication technology for the automatic and remote monitoring and control of said facilities.”

“If these reports are true, these vulnerabilities pose a grave risk to public infrastructure, to national security, and to the daily lives of our people. We must address and correct these flaws immediately,” Hontiveros said.

The NGCP, however, dismissed Hontiveros’ apprehensions, and assured that Filipinos are in control of the country’s power transmission facilities.

The NGCP, which was created in 2009, is owned by a consortium of 3 corporations, namely, the State Grid Corporation of China, and Monte Oro Grid Resources Corporation and Calaca High Power Corporation, both from Philippines and hold the remaining 60 percent stake.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for its part, said the matter is within the purview of the National Power Corporation, and the NGCP which is privy to the provisions and necessary safeguards in place in the contract.

However, the AFP assured it will be discussing the security aspect of the issue with concerned agencies, and participate on matters relevant to its competency.

“We submit that Congress is well within its powers to conduct an inquiry if it so desires given its oversight and legislative functions,” AFP Spokesperson Marine Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo added in a statement. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

China’s 40% ownership of NGCP is legal – Law Expert

Marje Pelayo   •   November 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Reports of China’s 40% ownership of the National Grid of the Philippines (NGCP) has been on the headlines recently as several senators claimed it would pose threats to national security.

But according to a legal expert, Atty. George Erwin Garcia, the Constitution actually allows foreign entities to have shares in government-owned corporations such as the NGCP.

“From the Constitutional point of view, everything is perfectly legal. So, there is nothing illegal,” Garcia, Dean of the College of Law in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, said.

“There is nothing unconstitutional (with the) 40% Chinese ownership of the National Grid Corporation,” he added.

Senators Ralph Recto and Francis Pangilinan recently raised concerns about possible Chinese manipulation in the Philippines’ power grid given the rights China has on its shares.

Under Article 12 of the 1987 Constitution, foreign ownership is allowed provided that 60% of the company’s shares are owned by a Filipino.

Garcia noted, however, that when it comes to security, the NGCP has to make sure that China has no control of the operations and administrations of their facility.

Read: China’s 40% ownership of NGCP, not threat to national security – PNP

The law also dictates that the foreign investor only has limited rights on the company and the state, which is the Philippine government, still has the full authority of the facility’s full operation.

“Dapat siguraduhin nila, 60-40 ang arrangement (They have to make sure that indeed the arrangement is 60-40). Forty percent nga Chinese pero baka naman ang 60, nasa likod Chinese rin (It might be 40% Chinese but it could be that those behind the other 60% are Chinese as well),” Garcia said.

“Baka naman sila’y naka-front lang for the Chinese o baka naman sila ay tinatawag nating “dummies” for the Chinese. Huwag naman sanang mangyari ‘yun (They could be fronting for the Chinese or like dummies for the Chinese. It must not be that way),” he added.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, previously stated that Chinese experts may provide technical assistance for the NGCP but only Filipinos can manage the entire facility.

In 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it would no longer renew the working visas of 18 Chinese experts working then at the NGCP.

But in 2017, NGCP sent 26 engineers and technical staff for training in China to prepare them for much bigger projects.

Despite the issues, the NGCP maintained that the Chinese investors are only up for investments and business tying up with the state-run power grid. MNP (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.