DOE-DPWH ink joint circular for compensation to relocate power lines Print
Thursday, 13 July 2017 12:13

By Dexter Yap By Dexter Yap

Finally, after four years of having the Republic Act No. 10531 and National Electrification Administration (NEA) Reform Act of 2013, the Joint Circular of DOE and DPWH was signed Monday (July 10, 2017).

House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Public Works and Highways and District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat who forms part of the drafting of the said uniform guidelines revealed that it was good news for the electric cooperatives in the entire country after waiting for many years to come up with the concrete procedures and basis on the said aspect.

Prescribing the Uniform Guidelines and Procedures for the Proper Payment of Compensation and/or Recovery of Cost in the Event of the Need to Relocate the Electric Cooperative Distribution/Sub-transmission Lines for the Primary Purpose of the Government will solve the problem of electric post still standing in widened roads and highways.

Under this memorandum circular, if there is development for the purpose of government any removal, or relocation of transmission lines of an electric cooperative, they shall be properly compensated.

Lobregat said that Section 10 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) stated that the DOE and DPWH are mandated to issue within 180 days the joint circular which will determine the proper compensation. That was in 2013.

Section 9, Paragraph (J) of RA 10531 also states that in the event of the need of such lands and thoroughfares for the primary purpose of the government, the electric cooperative shall be properly compensated.

Congressman Lobregat said that in year 2016 another law which is the Right-Of-Way Act came out which prompted the DOE and DPWH to come up with a unified agreement for the guidelines to be adopted for the proper compensation, but unfortunately, it was not happening since 2013 till 2017, which prompted the solon to initiate such move to realize the specific provisions of it.

The absence of this Joint Circular cannot be underestimated because the proliferation of widened roads or newly built roads which had electricity facilities and/or electric posts in the middle of their lanes.

Without the regulatory guidelines on how to determine the valuation or compensation for electric facilities, such facilities were not removed despite the construction or roads, bridges, or other government infrastructure projects.

“Ta mira man kita na entero Pilipinas este problema ta existi, chene mga lugar ya man-widened ya el camino, pero talyi pa syempre el mga poste de corriente in the widened portion. The reason for that is there is no agreement on how the electric cooperatives will be compensated,” Lobregat said.

Section 5 of the Joint Circular provides a detailed formula for computing the amount of compensation to be paid to Electric Cooperatives.

In the event of a dispute as to the amount, the Joint Circular also outlines the procedure for depositing part of the amount with the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to prevent delays in the implementation of infrastructure projects. The Joint Circular also penalizes Electric Cooperatives if they delay or refuse to remove/relocate their electric facilities.

The solon said that he has been pushing the issue since April 4, 2017 and made sure that the final draft can be realized with the support of DPWH Secretary Mark Villar and DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi, and on July 10 was the official ceremonial signing of joint memorandum.

“I am elated that no less than DOE Secretary Cusi appreciated my effort and for being consistent in pursuing this important guideline, I am just doing my job and I am hands-on in everything I do,” Lobregat said. – Dexter Yap