Beth Ladaga, who heads the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) Regional Corporate and Public Affairs said that the energy situation will not improve if there are no transmission lines to deliver the new capacity to the distribution utilities and household consumers.
Ladaga was referring to various transmission lines that crossed along farm lots in Lanao Del Sur that have remained vulnerable due to trees planted by landowners who want payment at exorbitant rates.
She cited the case of a certain Balao Pundag who has planted 1,500 trees along the right of way of the NGCP’s transmission lines that threatens the Agus 2 – Kibawe 138kV line.
Ladaga said the NGCP has been negotiating with Pundag for the past 16 months in the hope the maintenance crew could enter the lot area and clear the trees that poses danger to the power transmission lines.
The NGCP has expressed the willingness to pay PHP77,750 for the 1,500 trees in its prevailing market and assessed value. However, Pundag wants a PHP478,650 payment for the trees, the NGCP said.
Ladaga said the NGCP has to stick to a standard valuation of property, which is based on verifiable sources such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and government financial institutions.
“It is sad to think that for years, both the government and private sectors have been working together to invite power stakeholders to build new sources of energy in Mindanao in order to address the island’s power deficiency,” she said.
She that the NGCP has been working to ensure that the facilities necessary to connect these plants to the grid are already in place by the time these power plants are ready to operate.
However, if our transmission lines become non-operational because some landowners are preventing the NGCP from properly maintaining the power lines, then Mindanao will continue to be plagued by power interruptions in the future, Ladaga said.(With PNA)