Hontiveros: ‘China-made’ blackouts can cripple PH

Senator Risa Hontiveros | Philstar.com photo

PHILIPPINE Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday, November 25, warned that “China-made blackouts” could paralyze the country’s economy, vital communications system and even the electoral system.

According to her, with China controlling 40 percent of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), it has the capability to undermine national security and “even topple the government.”

Hontiveros gave out the warning after deliberating on the 2020 budget of the Department of Energy last week. She discovered that the operations of the NGCP, which runs the country’s electricity grid, can be accessed by Chinese managers and engineers.

President of the state-owned National Transmission Co. Melvin Matibag also admitted that China can control and even shut down the country’s power transmission system “remotely.”

Hontiveros insisted that this could have devastating effects on the country such as crippling the society, sabotaging elections, and shutting down communications.

“Imagine a foreign country, which is an unrepentant trespasser and aggressor in our seas and territories, controlling our national electricity grid. It could cripple our entire society,” she said.

“It could sabotage our elections; shut down our access to television, the internet and other communication technologies; cause the collapse of our economy; and undermine our national security. It could even overthrow our government,” she continued.

“With the flick of a switch, China could plunge the whole Philippines into darkness. By the simple push of a button, our country could be at the mercy of China-made blackouts,” the senator added.

Hontiveros is now calling for a Senate investigation on the matter.

“We want to know if our energy systems are not compromised, and if we have the technical safeguards to ensure that these systems and infrastructure continue to be in our full control,” she said.  

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