A PACT between the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) aims to ensure uninterrupted power supply come election season.
Comelec Resolution 10067 has deputized military, police and other law enforcement agencies to assist NGCP in securing the electric transmission facilities. The resolution, with a corresponding Memorandum of Agreement, was signed March 1 and is aimed to ensure “uninterrupted” power during the presidential elections on May.
NGCP-North Luzon corporate communications and public affairs officer Lilibeth Gaydowen said security contingencies are already in place.
Gaydowen added security measures will be tighter in the provinces of Abra, Apayao and Kalinga where there are reported sightings of rebels.
Crucial 230 KV NGCP transmission lines connecting to power plants traversing Benguet are the steel towers of La Trinidad–Bauang, La Trinidad–Binga, Binga–Ambuklao, Ambuklao–Binga, Binga–San Manuel with the 69KV La Trinidad–Sagada transmission line that connects to the Benguet Electric Cooperative and the Mountain Province Electric Cooperative.
Under the MOA, at least two security personnel from the Philippine National Police or the Armed Forces of the Philippines will be assigned to take charge of the security of the NCGP towers.
The issuance of the resolution deputizing police powers in securing power lines is aimed to avoid blackouts during the May 2016 elections, although there was no history of threat or reported bombing incidents in Northern Luzon, the NGCP has decided to secure their facilities.
The agreement was made in reaction to the spate of bombing of transmission towers affecting the operations of the NGCP lines in the Mindanao area.
Meantime, the NGCP is rushing to finish the establishment of its Santiago-Tuguegarao 260-kilovolt Line 2 project that would serve as a backup should the Line 1 transmission cable fail in emergency situations.
This would address the contingency requirements for the North Luzon transmission corridor that serves the provinces of Cagayan, Kalinga, Apayao and Isabela.
Amounting to P946.4 million, the project would reinforce the existing 230-kV Line 1 being used by the North Luzon transmission corridor in Cagayan Valley.
The transmission line, which spans 117 kilometers, was supposed to be completed in April but was delayed due to right-of-way issues.