• Power outages feared in Nueva Ecija

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    THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has been denied entry to trim plants and trees underneath transmission facilities in Nueva Ecija that may cause power outages during the synchronized national and local elections today.

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    Lilibeth Gaydowen, NGCP North Luzon communications and public affairs officer, said the company’s pre-election line maintenance work was halted because of “uncooperative landowners” who barred them from trimming plants and trees.

    “The intentional planting of trees and plants underneath transmission lines may cause power outage that only burdens the public which must suffer through these service interruptions when lines trip,” she said.

    Gaydowen added the untrimmed trees are along Cabanatuan-San Isidro 69-kilovolt line 1 and 2, and Mexico-Cabanatuan 230-kV lines, which traverse a private property in Barangay Soledad in Santa Rosa town, Nueva Ecija.

    She said that despite repeated efforts to negotiate with landowners and government authorities, the NGCP was denied entry into the property to trim “intentionally” planted trees underneath transmission facilities as part of the company’s pre-election maintenance activities.

    “This poses a threat to the transmission of electricity to Central Luzon power customers during the critical election period,” Gaydowen said.

    She said NGCP’s best efforts to enlist the help of the Philippine National Police and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) proved futile as the company was still barred from conducting maintenance activities inside the property.

    “With the Comelec-issued resolution, we were given legal cover to access the transmission facilities and begin the clearing of trees that may hamper the transmission of electricity, but these uncooperative landowners are resisting our efforts,” Gaydowen said.

    She added the issue of right-of-way has been a major problem for the company in its maintenance activities during the recent months.

    Gaydowen added NGCP’s clearing operations are based on Comelec Resolution No. 10067 and that the company should be assisted by the military, police and local government units.

    LEANDER C. DOMINGO

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