THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Energy (DoE) have signed a joint circular meant to fast-track implementation of government infrastructure projects.
Under the joint circular, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, through Undersecretary Karen Olivia Jimeno, and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi agreed to have uniform guidelines for the payment and relocation of electric cooperative facilities affected by government projects.
The DPWH-DoE agreement, Villar said, would be a big boost to help speed up road projects.
Addressing issues causing delay and preventing road works from proceeding such as presence of utilities and right-of-way problems, he added, can accelerate project implementation.
The goal is to strictly observe and maintain easements and to relocate and/or compensate improperly located electric cooperative facilities within government’s right-of-way (ROW).
“The joint circular with DoE is just and systematized way of addressing ROW conflicts between two  entities that promote development. We aim for timely implementation of government projects and at the same time aid electric cooperatives that play critical role in household electrification,” Villar said.
“Under the guidelines, programming or planning of upcoming DPWH projects like roads, bridges, flood-control structures and government buildings will have to be coordinated with the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and electric cooperatives to address ROW concerns,” Jimeno said.
The DPWH, prior to the preparation of its budget for a proposed government project, will have to inform in writing concerned electric cooperatives that their facilities will be affected, with copy furnished to DoE and NEA, and to be followed by a joint survey and assessment of both parties.
Within 30 days after the joint survey, the electric cooperatives shall submit to the DPWH the proposed program of work for the affected facility with cost estimate duly certified by NEA, and bill of materials.
The DPWH will determine within 10 calendar days the proper compensation or relocation cost that amounts to present value of relocation of facility based on the NEA equipment and materials price index, less depreciative cost, plus dismantling/removal and disposal cost.
Upon determination of compensation, the department and the electric cooperatives shall execute a “Relocation Agreement” with terms of payment of compensation for the affected facility; details of affected facility and approved relocation site; project implementation schedule; target date of completion; and remedy in case of disagreement.
After the Relocation Agreement, the DPWH is tasked to prepare a final program of work for its project with the amount of compensation for the electric cooperative affected.
WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL