By Myrna M. Velasco
Power interruptions ignited by breaches on right-of-way (ROW) clearances along the path of transmission lines continue to torment consumers with unwanted power interruptions, hence, transmission service provider National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is advancing its plea to Congress on immediate passage of the proposed Anti-Power Line Disturbance Act.
The transmission firm noted that it just recently logged several instances of ROW infringements that rendered affected areas without electricity service for a significant duration of time.
NGCP primarily cited the case of Nabunturan-Monkayo 69-kilovolt line in the service area of Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (DANECO) which tripped last November – and had caused one-hour power interruption to the consternation of end-users in that area.
As narrated by NGCP, the land owner harvested from his falcata trees using a chainsaw, and falling tree trunks from that activity had swiped on power cables – consequently causing the brownouts.
Several other incidents of ROW infractions at transmission facilities had been logged – including those in Iloilo, Antique, Compostela Valley and Pampanga just several weeks ago.
These assaults on the transmission facilities range from human activities – such as climbing the towers; incidence of grass fire and kaingin (land clearing by slashing and burning) as well as neglectful construction of buildings.
NGCP emphasized that it has been taking serious steps to end these spate of right-of-way transgressions, but it cannot do as much without a stern policy that would penalize offenders.
“We have been very serious in the conduct of our information and safety campaigns in the communities near our transmission facilities,” the company asserted.
It qualified though that “our efforts are often ignored because there is no legal consequences to breaching safety clearances,” thus, it has been stepping up its call on the legislative branch on enacting a measure that can put a stop to these reprobate acts.
NGCP further explained “these breaches in right-of-way not only threaten the reliability of the transmission system, causing unnecessary inconvenience to power customers, but also risks the lives of anyone involved or living near the area.”
Fundamentally, the propounded Anti-Power Line Disturbance Act shall “prevent obstructions and penalize the introduction of high-growing vegetation or hazardous improvements along power line corridors.”