– Advertisement –
In a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy, representatives of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) again denied that partners from the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) have full control over their operations. .
The Energy Committee, led by Sen. Raffy Tulfo, questioned whether the China-based corporation, which owns 40% of NGCP, can derail operations based on their positions on the board. The Corporate Communications Head of NGCP, Atty. Cynthia Alabanza made it clear that only four of the 10 board members of her corporation are Chinese and cannot make any decision. He also emphasized that the rest of the board and all employees and staff of NGCP are Filipinos.
Senators Tulfo and Sherwin Gatchalian raised concerns about how a provision in the NGCP rules does not allow the board to convene without the presence of any Chinese stakeholders. Alabanza countered that the provision was a simple courtesy to partners that could only be invoked twice and insisted that the rest of the Filipino board had more control. “Regarding the concerns raised by Senators Gatchalian and Tulfo on the ability of Chinese shareholders to defeat the will of the Filipino Board, this fear is not just speculation, it is baseless,” he emphasized. “At best, the minority shareholders can delay convening the board, but the board cannot be held hostage forever. Any urgent matter that needs immediate attention can be decided by the President and CEO, a Filipino If necessary, it can be approved by the board,” he continued.
NGCP also emphasized that the 40% stake in SGCC is allowed and required by the constitution because the Philippines does not have any local bidders capable of meeting the technical requirements for what NGCP is required to achieve. It should be remembered that the NGCP took over the operation from the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) when the government ordered to privatize the grid operations. SGCC participated and won the open bid to become a foreign technical partner with the experience and expertise required by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).
“Our foreign technical experts have in the past engaged with the NGCP in full compliance with everything [Philippine] laws. They provide technical assistance and advice. None of them is the ‘executive’ or ‘managing’ officer of the company,” Alabanza explained again.
Senator Tulfo also accused the NGCP of “underspending” or not allocating enough budget for service development. The NGCP quickly responded that they have invested more than PhP300 billion since 2009 and the government has spent a lot in terms of transmission infrastructure investments. “We remain committed to responding to all the challenges of the energy industry, up to transmission, and we continue to pledge our cooperation and devotion to finding holistic and long-term solutions,” concluded Alabanza.
Mindanao Gold Star Daily holds the copyrights of all articles and photos forever. Any unauthorized copying in any platform, electronic and hardcopy, is liable for copyright infringement under the Intellectual Property Rights Law of the Philippines.