THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has started relocating its high-voltage transmission lines standing along the Jose Abad Santos Avenue (Jasa) in the City of San Fernando.

This was confirmed by NGCP Regional Communications and Public Affairs officer Ernest Lorenz Vidal in a text message to SunStar Pampanga, saying they have already started working for the relocation of huge electric posts.

Clearing and construction activities are seen ongoing around some of the transmission lines in the area, possibly as part of the relocation project.

Vidal, however, declined to give further details on the project as a meeting with the city government here and affected business owners and residents to finalize some concerns is still set on August 12.

Meanwhile, Mayor Edwin Santiago, in a phone interview, said that 15 of the total 19 affected businessmen have agreed on the relocation of the transmission lines nearer their property lines.

Santiago said other four affected businesses, which he did not identify, are yet to conform, as the NGCP already sought for the intervention of the proper court to settle the concern on right of way.

“The city government cannot meddle with that issue anymore because it is already up to the court, but what we requested to NGCP is to fast-track the relocation so the concerns of safety and order in Jasa will finally be addressed,” he said.

Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. president Rene Romero, for his part, expressed elation over the news that the transmission lines will finally be moved from their current places right in the middle of Jasa.

“This is a welcome development for the business sector because we have asked for this years ago, and finally, we can already see some progress and we are hopeful that this will be continuous,” he said.

Romero said the relocation of huge electric posts can also finally give way to the impending expansion of a portion of the Jasa, particularly in the Dolores intersection, where about four lanes are consumed by the flyover.

The relocation of said NGCP transmission lines, which carries about 230 kilovolts, has stirred up complications between the power corporation, city government here and stakeholders along Jasa for several years now.

In 2016, Councilor Celestino Dizon called on the NGCP to adhere to the city government’s motion made in 2013 to move electric posts outside of the major thoroughfare to safeguard the welfare of motorists and address traffic gridlock caused by their presence.

However, a group named Fernandino Jasa stakeholders, composed of owners of different businesses including gasoline stations, restaurants and automotive, as well as residents of Villa Barosa Subdivision, expressed opposition to the said program, citing the possible risks and hazards on their health and properties should the transmission lines be moved inside their property lines.

In 2018, Hizon Group of Companies’ Marco Hizon, who also spearheaded the opposing group, asked to maintain “status quo” while concerns from the affected sector are still being addressed.