Senators raise security concerns over China’s 40% stake in PH power grid

Marje Pelayo   •   November 14, 2019   •   728

MANILA, Philippines – Several senators have expressed alarm at the possible security threats posed by the fact that China owns 40 percent of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

Senator Ralph Recto said sooner or later the Chinese government may have complete control of the NGCP.

According to Recto, the whole of the country’s power supply is being managed by China’s state grid, given that instructions on every equipment are written in Chinese which Filipinos cannot understand and could lead to China manipulating the Filipinos.

“Hindi naiintindihan iyan ng mga tao natin (Our people cannot understand the instructions). They can turn it off remotely,” he said.

The senator revealed that part of China Telecom’s plan is to use the NGCP’s cable for their telecommunication line.

“It is all over the papers. Why can’t the national defense and security officials look at all of these holistically,” Recto added.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, in response to the issue, assured that there are security checks being laid to ensure that Recto’s concerns are addressed.

“They are doing it already. I was informed that it is being done already to make sure that the security concern you are raising now are addressed properly,”  Lacson said.

The NGCP Consortium operates the country’s power transmission system which includes several Chinese companies operating in the country such as the State Grid Corporation of China.

Recto said the country might be caught in a cyberwar between telecommunications companies if without safeguards from these treats.

Senator Recto also called for a review of several deals entered into by the Philippine government such as the CCTV deal of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the entry of China Telecom into the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Senator Francis Pangilinan, meanwhile, will conduct his own review of the circumstances that led to the entry of Dito Telecommunity Corporations into the AFP.

“Dapat maging mapagbantay. Dapat tiyakin na may necessary safeguards at dapat mabilis nating mamomonitor, (We must be vigilant. We must make sure that the necessary safeguards are present and that we can monitor then easily),” Pangilinan said.

“Kung merong hindi tama, (If something is wrong,) we should terminate the contract immediately”– MNP (With details from Nel Maribojoc)

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)

Joint oil exploration with China won’t compromise Phl position on WPS — Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   October 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration stands firm that the Philippines’ position will not be compromised should a joint oil exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea pushes through.

This is in relation to the country’s arbitral award on the disputed territory against China.

“First, this lifting of the moratorium is an exercise of our sovereign rights. In no way it weakens the arbitral decision, and our MOU to explore a joint development program or cooperation with China, in no way that it weakens or gives away our sovereign rights,” noted Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Department of Energy (DOE) to lift the suspension and once again issue a resume to work notice for service contractors for oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

“Although sovereign rights are defined as exclusive rights, that exclusive rights may be shared to others. The decision to share it is part of the sovereign rights,” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. –MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

BOC destroys P50-M worth of misdeclared cigarettes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 8, 2020

Around P50 million worth of misdeclared cigarettes from China were destroyed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Cagayan de Oro last October 2.

The cigarettes came from different shipments that were declared as furniture and disposable cups. One of the shipments arrived last May 14 while the other shipment arrived last June 9 at Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

𝗕𝗢𝗖 – 𝗣𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗖𝗗𝗢 𝗗𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘆𝘀 𝗣𝗛𝗣 𝟱𝟬 𝗠𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗖𝗶𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝗗𝗲𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝘀 𝗙𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀, 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗖𝘂𝗽𝘀Fifty million…

Posted by Bureau of Customs PH on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

District Collector John Simon issued a Decree of Abandonment after the shipment failed to request for extension of lodgement of its goods.

“The shipment has been previously issued with an Alert Order. This was followed by a 100% physical examination which revealed the shipment actually containing cigarettes,” the BOC said in a statement. AAC

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