THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), the country’s grid operator, is pushing for the passage of Anti-Power Line Disturbance Act under the 17th Congress.
NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Perez-Alabanza said in a recent interview with SunStar Davao that they hope the bill will be fast-tracked by the lawmakers.
The bill, which aimed to criminalize the deliberate planting of trees and the construction of any structure within the right-of-way (ROW) clearances of power lines across the country, was authored by Representative Carlos Roman Uybarreta of the 1-care party list.
“We are asking the Congress to help us pass the bill as it will advance our operation to ensure the efficiency and will ease constraints of the transmission lines,” Alabanza said.
The Congress is setting for initial consultation for the bill, Alabanza added.
The proposed act will authorize private grid-operator NGCP, distribution utilities, and electric cooperatives to immediately cut or prune trees, and remove any obstruction to power line.
The law, when enacted, is expected to eliminate substantial delays in NGCP's project construction and regular maintenance activities, particularly with uncooperative landowners and claimants who maliciously plant trees and build structures within the ROW clearance, and demand exorbitant amounts before allowing NGCP access to the property.
In a previous report, NGCP said they aim to get the support of the current House Committee on Energy chaired by Representative Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque and the Senate Committee on Energy led by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian in pushing for the enactment of the bill.
“Support in the form of legislation will ultimately be for the benefit of power consumers. The issue on settling ROW cases has delayed both current and new projects of NGCP.
It is also a recurring and worsening issue, especially in Mindanao and North Luzon. The sooner we can complete our projects and maintain our lines, the sooner we can provide secure and reliable power transmission services to the people,” NGCP said.
For the bombing incidents, which became rampant last year, Alabanza said the bombing issues of NGCP's transmission lines were downplayed and they hope it will continue.
“But our engagement of partnership with the police and military continues,” she added.
NGCP, also asked the public to be their partners by giving them information if there is any undesirable attempts and attacks near or around the transmission facilities by sending them a beep at cellphone numbers 09178476427 and 0918847647.