National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) have signed a memorandum of understanding as the Philippine government has ramped up its cyber security surveillance of the country’s power distribution system.
The agreement was signed in front of the Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Malacanang Palace. The President praised NGCP President and CEO Anthony Almeda for taking the initiative to establish the new agreement during the ceremony, saying that it will help ease worries about the security of NGCP’s power system.
In 2019, some lawmakers were alarmed after China’s State Grid Corporation was able to get a 40 percent stake in NGCP, which is a private consortium. They warned it could give China the capability to shut down the country’s power grid.
“Since NGCP is a critical part of our security, of our ability to continue to function as a society, then this is an important day because now we have made more robust the defenses against any possible attacks on our power systems, on any other of the elements in our everyday lives that require power; and for that matter, that require the exchange of secure information amongst ourselves in society,” said Marcos.
In accordance with the new MOU, NGCP will support NICA’s cybersecurity efforts by offering technical assistance, particularly in the area of energy-related security. NICA will assist in protecting NGCP’s national power transmission assets in the meanwhile.
Marcos said his administration would be engaging in more similar measures to further improve the country’s cybersecurity.