The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) is once again calling for the passage of the Anti-Power Line Disturbance Act due to many recently recorded right-of-way (ROW) breaches, which affects the grid operator’s quality transmission services.
The agency said the proposed measure will help prevent obstructions and penalize the introduction of high-growing vegetation or hazardous improvements along power line corridors.
Senate Committee on Energy Chairman Senator Sherwin Gatchalian sponsored the Senate version of the act, which is Senate Bill No. 2098 or the Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act of 2018.
For the lower house version, Vice-chair of the house energy committee Congressman Carlos Uybarreta sponsored the act, which was passed on September 25, 2017.
“We are grateful to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Congressman Carlos Uybarreta, who sponsored the bill in the Senate and in the House, respectively. We hope that this bill, when passed into law, will act as a deterrent to the public from breaching the required clearance around the power transmission lines. Incidents like these will be prevented from happening. Not only will the continuous flow of power to homes, communities, and industries across the country be guaranteed, but injuries will also be minimized,” NGCP said.
The grid operator expressed its concern over recent ROW violations, noting that the lack of legal consequences to violations and breaching of safety clearances “threaten the reliability of the transmission system, causing unnecessary inconvenience to power customers, but also risks the lives of anyone involved or living near the area.”
NGCP also noted the line interruption incidence of the Nabunturan-Monkayo 69 kilovolt (kV) last Nov. 13, which caused in an hour-long power interruptions to customers of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (DANECO).
In addition, the Sta. Barbara-San Jose 138 kV line in Iloilo also went on emergency shut down last November 15, when a citizen was seen climbing one of the towers of the line.
Other 69-kV transmission lines in the area were also affected and put into emergency shut down to ensure that the power lines were secured and the person involved was safe.
The incidents in Iloilo and Antique resulted in a few hours of power interruptions, which was later restored when the area was announced cleared and safe for re-energization.
Last November 18, the Maco-Banaybanay 69 kV line in Compostella Valley was tripped due to grass fire. It was said that the fire was done intentionally to make way for the planting of new crops.
The Mexico-Calumpit 69 kV also had a tripping incident last November due to a construction accident that caused a slight electric shock to the victim and power interruptions.
In December 10, a construction accident also happened when a laborer breached the safe distance of the Bolbok-Ma. Parang-Concepcion 13.8kV line.