As PH mulls regaining control of NGCP, China declares support for Chinese firms
MANILA, Philippines — China has professed support for Chinese firms “in carrying out practical cooperation in the Philippines” after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. bared the government’s readiness to regain control of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
In an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday night (Manila time), China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that “the Philippines is a friendly neighbor and important partner of China.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Marcos said that the government would reclaim control of NGCP if necessary as he agreed with Senator Rally Tulfo’s proposal to conduct a comprehensive study or hold hearings to assess the performance of the NGCP, including the security aspect of its operations.
Tulfo had warned Marcos how the Chinese ownership of the NGCP may pose a possible severe national security threat considering the current conflict between China and the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea.
“The Philippines is a friendly neighbor and important partner of China. China supports Chinese companies in carrying out practical cooperation in the Philippines in accordance with laws and regulations and producing greater mutual benefits,” Wenbin said when sought for comment on President Marcos’ statement regarding the NGCP.
On its website, the NGCP describes itself as “a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s state-owned power grid, an interconnected system that transmits gigawatts of power at thousands of volts from where it is made to where it is needed.”
The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) owns 40 percent of the NGCP while 60 percent of its capital stakes are Filipino-owned.
The NGCP maintained that China owning a 40-percent share in the corporation is not a threat to the security of the Philippines, asserting that only Filipinos man their substations.