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Labor wants Electric Coop to handle NGCP Transfer Grid Control from Chinese State to Filipino workers, Senate told

Press Release
04 February 2020

Labor wants Electric Coop to handle NGCP
Transfer Grid Control from Chinese State to Filipino workers, Senate told

Workers group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) calls on Congress to transfer ownership of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) from a consortium of Chinese and Filipino corporations to an electric cooperative "owned by consumers and managed by its workers".

This was following reports from a recent Senate investigation which revealed that the NGCP allowed Chinese nationals in the highest management positions, on top of the security problems surrounding the 40% ownership of grid utility by State Grid Corporation of China supposedly controlled by the Chinese government.

"We already have a workable model in the power industry - the electric cooperatives. Why not transfer the grid from the Chinese government to Filipino consumers and workers?," asked BMP President Luke Espirtu.

Espiritu noted that the "running" the power grid involves "technical problems like dispatch management on which Filipino engineers are already capable of, after doing so for decades before the privatization of power industry."

"Before the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, the running of grid services area already performed by Filipinos under the National Power Corporation (NPC). The problem then was generation, not transmission," Espiritu insisted.

He proposed a model wherein NGCP will be controlled by a "cooperative of electric cooperatives", engaging the NGCP workers union on a management contract.

"This will, of course, require a legislative action to amend EPIRA. And this is where the Senate investigation should proceed," the labor leader said.

Espiritu argued that with a consumer-owned and worker-controlled electric coop model, "we will have no problems with technical audits, cybersecurity and foreign ownership".

The BMP leader conceded that reforms are likewise needed to further strengthen electric coops so as not to make it vulnerable to corporate takeovers.####

For more details, Luke Espiritu 0995 9729969

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