RDC-3 joins calls for guidelines on compensation of electric coops

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Central Luzon Regional Development Council (RDC) has adopted and endorsed support to a resolution by its counterpart in the Zamboanga Peninsula which enjoins Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Energy (DOE) to fast track the issuance of joint guidelines of the latter‘s Department Circular No. DC-2013-07-0015.

“Under that circular, DOE stated that electric cooperatives are empowered to construct, acquire, own, operate, and maintain sub-transmission and distribution lines along publicly-owned lands and thoroughfares and that in cases where the government needs to use such lands and thoroughfares the electric cooperatives shall be properly compensated,” RDC Vice Chair and National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Regional Director Severino Santos said.

In addition, the circular provides that DOE and DPWH shall issue joint guidelines, which are consistent with the issuances of the Energy Regulatory Commission within 180 days from its implementation.

“However, in 2014, a contradicting directive was issued by DPWH which prohibits the provision of road right of way for the construction of buildings including posts and towers of electric cooperatives,” Santos added.

It further stated that should clearing operations be made for road widening and other developments, no compensation should be paid on the removal of these facilities.

“These contradicting directives from DPWH and DOE are causing confusion among responsible parties concerned, such as in the case of Region 9 or Zamboanga Peninsula,” RDC 3 Sectoral Committee on Infrastructure Development Chairperson and Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. said.

Ebdane added that to this point, the two agencies have yet to issue joint guidelines for such.

“To settle this, both parties should come up with joint guidelines to avoid disruption of public services. They should sit down and do it together instead of individually doing it,” Ebdane added.

RDC 3 is the highest policy-making body in Central Luzon and serves as the counterpart of the NEDA Board at the subnational level.

It is the primary institution that coordinates and sets the direction of all economic and social development efforts in the region and serves as a forum where local efforts can be related and integrated with national development activities.

Council members include all governors, city mayors, municipal mayors of capital towns, presidents of municipal mayors league, regional directors of national government agencies and representatives from the private sector. (PR)

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