NGCP answers village complaints-A A +A
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) answered allegations by a group of residents in Beckel.
Over 500 residents earlier cried foul over NGCP electric poles set up since 1977 claiming poles in their property were set up despite protests and requests for compensation from the company.
NGCP adviser for external Affairs, Cynthia Perez Alabanza said, “The payment for easement rights in the area was already settled with some of the landowners even prior to 2001 by the government-owned National Power Corporation (NPC).”
Alabanza said the payment binds the successors-in-interest of both the NPC and the landowners and added, “Not all those affected were paid or have right-of-way (ROW) grants although some of those properties traversed by the transmission line are part of “public land” at that time.”
In 2001, RA 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) of 2001 was enacted, which caused the privatization of the transmission sector operated by NPC.
The National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) and NGCP are both successors-in-interest of NPC with regard to the transmission business and any land rights NPC may have acquired through its transmission operations.
Any right given to NPC by virtue of the settlement with the landowners prior to 2001 naturally benefits both TransCo (as present owner of the transmission facilities) and NGCP (as TransCo’s concessionaire).
Alabanza said current claimants over the property are likewise naturally bound by the settlement entered into by their predecessors with NPC.
However, residents are now protesting the replacement of electric posts by the NGCP; a court case has since ensued.
There are over 14 posts scattered in the area comprising a minimum of 40 households.
Among complaints of residents is an unfair treatment of NGCP to residents as some are given free electricity and water for the set up to electric posts within their property, allegedly, others are not given this privilege.
“Free water is available to all residents of nearby communities. NGCP does not give special treatment or privileges to particular individuals or groups. A faucet installed outside the Beckel Substation’s main gate supplies free water service at scheduled times to anyone who needs it,” Alabanza said.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 16, 2012.