The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) on Thursday blamed landowners for delaying power restoration in areas after Typhoon Glenda hit the country.
NGCP said it was able to fully restore power supply in Bicol by July 24 or a week after the storm but this could have been done earlier if landowners allowed immediate access to downed transmission facilities in their properties.
It cited the damaged structures along the high-voltage lines in Barangay Del Rosario, Naga City, Camarines Sur.
“Despite negotiations and repeated pleas together with the barangay officials and the intervention of the city government of Naga and the provincial government of Camarines Sur, the landowners did not allow NGCP linemen to enter the properties to conduct inspection and maintenance work,” the NGCP said in a statement.
NGCP had earlier identified 12 structures of Naga-Naga and Naga-Libmanan 69-kiloVolt (kV) double circuit lines and structures of Naga-Labo 230-kV lines as particularly troublesome because of right-of-way (ROW) negotiations with the landowners.
In April, NGCP requested permission from the landowners to enter the properties to conduct the necessary maintenance works on the transmission lines.
The NGCP even warned landowners that the breakdown of aging woodpole structures within their properties would result in the loss of power supply to Naga City and western municipalities of Camarines Sur.
“For public safety, NGCP emphasized that the maintenance and correction works it intended to conduct was of an urgent nature, and must be immediately implemented,” it added.
The NGCP, in its letter to the landowners, said it was fully aware that the properties are subject of a pending case before the Supreme Court between them and state-owned National Power Corp.
The landowners, however, turned down the request to access the properties and prohibited personnel of NGCP, state-run National Transmission Corp. and their subsidiaries, contractors and agents from entering any part of the said properties.
“NGCP is proactive in solving ROW issues. We do not want to wait for more trippings and accidents to happen. We are reaching out to LGUs and enjoin the help of landowners themselves so that we can work together in taking care of the power lines and ensuring the public’s safety,” said NGCP President and CEO Henry Sy Jr.