Power grid operator, NGCP, reiterates its support for the passage of the “Anti-Power Line Disturbance Act”, which will 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.
NGCP is hopeful that the 17th Congress, which convened last July, will refile the bill originally proposed in the previous Congress by House Representatives. The company aims to get the support of the present House Committee on Energy chaired by Cong. Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque and the Senate Committee on Energy led by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, in pushing for the enactment of the said bill.
The “Act prohibiting the planting of plants and trees, and the construction of any structure under or within the right-of-way clearance of all power transmission and distribution lines and providing penalties for violation thereof” 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.
“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. With the Act, we can expedite the process and improve our turn-around time. 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. We are appealing for the support of our Congress and Senate Committees on Energy by refiling the bill and pushing for its expedited enactment into law,” stated NGCP.
NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations, and related assets. The consortium, which holds the 25-year concession contract to operate the country’s power transmission network, is comprised of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. led by Henry Sy, Jr., Calaca High Power Corporation led by Robert Coyiuto, Jr., and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) as technical partner.