Negros tower repair invokes authority of poll body

Posted on March 22, 2016

NATIONAL GRID Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said yesterday that it was able to restore the delivery of power through a faulty transmission line that tripped and caused power interruption in portions of southern Negros Oriental.

In a statement, the company said it had secured a “writ of possession” from the local court at 10:00 a.m. yesterday, giving it possession of the property whose owners barred the entry of linemen who will conduct maintenance activities in the affected areas in Dumaguete City.

The incident is the latest right-of-way issue faced by the grid operator after it restored a toppled tower that remained unrepaired for nearly three months due to uncooperative landowners.

It tested the effectiveness of a recent resolution issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that deputized personnel from a task force led by the Department of Energy to secure power assets nationwide, implement clearing of trees, infrastructure and any obstructions beneath the transmission facilities.

NGCP said it invoked Comelec Resolution 10067, which authorizes the company, with the help of other government agencies, to conduct right-of-way clearing in time for the May 9 national elections.

“Unfortunately, the same cannot immediately be effected,” NGCP said, because the landowners through their lawyers “refused to receive the Comelec’s notice claiming that he does not receive notices on a Sunday, even as many of his fellow Negrenses continue to suffer without power.”

NGCP energized the Amlan-Siaton 69-kilovolt line, which suffered an interruption at 9:38 a.m. on March 20, due to overgrown vegetation and the refusal by the landowners to grant maintenance personnel access to the affected transmission facility. -- Victor V. Saulon