NGCP’s Tower 25 in Lanao del Sur bombed anew

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: Another bombing toppled a power pylon of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Lanao del Sur, one of five provinces under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

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NGCP said Tower 25 in the village of Linamon in Ramain town was bombed on Tuesday evening, cutting off electricity in many areas there.

The steel pylon is part of 138 kilovolt Agus 2-Kibawe line. It was the second time that the tower had been attacked since December 24 last year.

“This is the 6th bombing of NGCP towers this year. Restoration of Tower 25 will commence as soon as the area is secured. The company stresses that the bombings only serve to increase the burden of the public, which must suffer through service interruptions when towers are bombed,” NGCP said in a statement.

It previously blamed the Sambitory family where the tower is erected for allegedly not cooperating with the NGCP blocking access to conduct repairs of damaged pylon. Many landowners claimed they were not being paid by the NGCP for the use of their land.

Last month, two power pylons were also bombed in North Cotabato province. The twin bombings of Towers 95 and 96 of the Kibawe-Kabacan 138-kilovolt line occurred in the villages of Kitulaan and Aroman in Carmen town.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the latest attack, but various rebel groups operate in Lanao del Sur.

In March, Tower 63 was also bombed in the town of Aleosan also in North Cotabato province – two months after it had been toppled down by a blast in January.

Meanwhile, NGCP reiterated its appeal to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to issue a blanket authority and special permit to cut maliciously planted trees along its transmission line corridors.

The blanket authority will help expedite its efforts in clearing deliberately planted trees under the transmission lines, which cause power outages and interruptions.

To date, the DENR has issued tree cutting permits authorizing the cutting of trees along the Agus 2- Baloi 138kV line, traversing the municipalities of Pantar and Balo-i, Lanao del Norte. However, it covers only one out of eight lines in Mindanao identified as critical because of right-of-way (ROW) issues.

The seven other lines identified as critical are: Agus 2 – Kibawe 138kV Lines, Agus 1 – Agus 2 138kV Line, Baloi – Agus 6 138kV Lines, Baloi – Agus 6 69kV Line, Baloi – Tagoloan 138kV Lines, Baloi – IDPP 138kV Line, and Baloi –Aurora 138kV Lines.

Permits are likewise needed for the 83 transmission lines in 79 municipalities throughout the country that remain vulnerable to transmission-related power interruptions.

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