The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is appealing for public support on the strict enforcement of the Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act as it accused uncooperative landowners of having contributed to the worsening power situation in Mindanao.
The company issued the calls as customers in Northwestern Mindanao continue to suffer prolonged power interruptions due to line trippings brought about by its inability to do clearing operations due to the refusal of landowners to grant access to NGCP personnel to their properties.
NGCP said on Tuesday, it has re-energized its Agus 5-Aurora 138 kilovolt (kV) line after the trimming of maliciously planted vegetation which caused the fault at Sitio Taytay, Ditucalan, Iligan City.
Under the law, it is illegal to construct hazardous improvements, plant vegetation, or perform any activity under the power corridor of transmission lines which may cause power interruptions. It is also illegal under the law to refuse entry to authorized transmission line personnel to conduct clearing and restoration activities.
Any person found guilty of committing any of the prohibited acts shall be subject to a penalty of imprisonment of six months to 12 years and/or fines ranging from P50,000 up to P200,000, at the discretion of the court.
“Hampering the delivery of power transmission services affects not only their immediate vicinity but the entire region including hospitals, schools, businesses, and entire communities which largely depend on electricity to operate especially at a time where we face a global health crisis such as COVID-19,” NGCP further appealed. -Jed Macapagal