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DOE reiterates call for full NGCP audit

February 12, 2020 - Wednesday 6:02 PM by MDM

Article Banner Image Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi. DOE

PASAY CITY-- Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi reiterated his long-standing call for the full audit of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) during Senate Committee on Energy hearing on Monday, February 3, which tackled the national security aspect of the Corporation's operations.

“We are hopeful that this hearing would finally put to rest the pending issues we have with NGCP, so we could finally eliminate doubts on the integrity of the Corporation. On the matter of national security, conducting a thorough inspection of the NGCP remains critical to ensuring that the best interests of our consumers are being upheld," the Energy Secretary stressed.

On December 1, 2008, the NGCP was granted a legislative franchise to operate and maintain TransCo’s power transmission facilities. In its 10 years of being the system operator of the country's transmission grid, some of its activities have raised government and public concerns, particularly lingering questions on the vulnerability of the national grid to cyber and other forms of security attacks.

During the hearing, National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) President Atty. Melvin Matibag reiterated some of the salient provisions of the concession agreement, supporting the right of government to inspect its transmission facilities and determine NGCP's compliance to the Franchise Agreement.

In addition, Secretary Cusi also asked for the NGCP's full cooperation in allowing the government to perform checks and balances, as NGCP has repeatedly rejected the numerous audit requests of both the DOE and TransCo since 2017.

Also present was National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr., who recommended for the promulgation of a new cyber security law that will further strengthen cyber security efforts in the country.

Meanwhile, Senate Committee on Energy Chairperson Sherwin T. Gatchalian emphasized the need for said national grid issues to be included as one of the main agenda items in the next Cabinet Meeting of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

"In the interest of national and energy security, a full audit of the NGCP must be undertaken. Only then will we be able to allay the fears of our countrymen. Only then will we be able to fully assure them of the grid's safety," Secretary Cusi concluded.