Unresolved right-of-way problems due to landowner’s exorbitant claim – NGCP PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 November 2015 14:38

Despite months of amicably negotiating with Mr. Balao Pundag, the landowner who refused NGCP entry to his property, the grid operator remains unsuccessful in its attempt to resolve right-of-way issues that prevent transmission line clearing operations and maintenance.

“We have been coordinating with Mr. Pundag for more than 16 months now to settle the issue so that NGCP may have access to the property and clear the trees posing a threat to our lines. Around 1,500 trees planted along NGCP’s ROW are within his property. These trees continue to threaten our Agus 2 – Kibawe 138kV line,” explained NGCP.

NGCP’s valuation of the trees, based on the Local Government of Lanao del Sur’s own Schedule of Market Value, amounts to PhP 77,750.00. The landowner, however, demands PhP 478,650.00 as payment for the trees, six times NGCP’s valuation.

“The landowner’s demanded payment is exorbitant. We will only pay the fair amount based on standard valuation. We operate and maintain almost 20,000 circuit kilometers of lines all over the country. And under our expansion program to ensure the safety and reliability of our network, we intend to build even more lines. We have to stick to a standard valuation of property, which is based on verifiable sources such as the BIR, private assessors, and government financial institutions, when available. We cannot just give in to every whimsical demand. We need to be prudent about these things,” said NGCP.

According to NGCP, even if the power supply scenario improves in the future with the entry of new power plants, the energy situation will not improve if there are no transmission lines to deliver the new capacity to the distribution utilities and household consumers. “It’s very sad to think that Mindanao has been suffering from a deficiency in supply for years now. And both government and the private sector have worked so hard to remedy the situation by attracting investors to build new energy sources within the island,” the company said. “For our part, we 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. But if our transmission lines become non-operational because some landowners prevent us from properly maintaining our lines, then Mindanao will continue to be plagued by power interruptions,” NGCP explained.

NGCP has repeatedly appealed to the government and the Philippine Army for assistance in resolving escalating security and right-of-way issues in Mindanao. “As we speak, our lines leading to and emanating from our Balo-i Substation remain critical. Three lines have been non-operational because of this very issue. This puts a strain on the system as a whole, endangering the entire grid,” stated NGCP. “We are hoping that these difficult landowners see past their own private interests and allow NGCP to clear the lines and allow us to deliver all available electricity to those who need it,” the company pleaded.

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.