Biz­men want ‘sta­tus quo’ on trans­fer of NGCP lines

Sun.Star Pampanga - - FRONT PAGE - BY ERIKA MARIEL GINES Sun.Star Staff Writer

ITY OF SAN FER­NANDO — Stake­hold­ers rep­re­sented by landown­ers and busi­ness­men want a “sta­tus quo” on the re­lo­ca­tion of the Na­tional Grid Cor­po­ra­tion of the Philip­pines’(NGCP) high-volt­age trans­mis­sion lines in­side their re­spec­tive prop­erty lines along Jose Abad San­tos Av­enue in this city.

In a meet­ing held at Car­world Pam­panga yes­ter­day, Marco Hi­zon, who rep­re­sented Hi­zon Group of Com­pa­nies voiced out his con­cern over the pos­si­ble im­pacts and haz­ards once the re­lo­ca­tion of the Her­mosa-Duhat trans­mis­sion line is im­ple­mented.

“We are not agree­ing with the re­lo­ca­tion pri­mar­ily be­cause of its po­ten­tial health risks. We are talk­ing about 230 kilo­volt here and it is a given fact that high ex­po­sure to elec­tric and mag­netic fields (EMF) have an ad­verse ef­fect on our health,” he said.

En­gi­neer Art Cre­spo of the Panlilio of Group of Com­pa­nies also shared the same sen­ti­ment, as he noted that

the giant steel posts might also pose threats of fu­ture dis­tur­bance for their ten­ants.

“Aside from its health and safety haz­ards, we are ob­ject­ing the re­lo­ca­tion of the trans­mis­sion lines be­cause we only have a min­i­mal frontage area and if they will get an­other chunk in­side our prop­erty, mawawalan na kami ng space. We also fear that it will af­fect the day-to-day op­er­a­tions of our ten­ants,” he lamented.

Hi­zon noted that in­volved stake­hold­ers will ini­ti­ate a meet­ing with the NGCP and the City Gov­ern­ment of San Fer­nando to clar­ify and set­tle the is­sue.

“Within this week, we will send a for­mal let­ter and in­vite them to meet with us to dis­cuss our con­cerns,” he re­layed.

He then sug­gested that the power trans­mis­sion firm should fur­ther study the re­lo­ca­tion project and asses its neg­a­tive ef­fects on the lives of the stake­hold­ers in the busi­ness district and the com­mu­nity.

“The NGCP should take a closer look on this is­sue. They have to study it fur­ther. One op­tion is to in­stall the posts at the city’s cen­ter­line in­stead of the pri­vate prop­er­ties. While it may be aes­thet­i­cally dis­rup­tive, I be­lieve it’s more vi­able, cost­ef­fec­tive and more im­por­tantly, won’t be near us,” he noted.

More­over, some of the stake­hold­ers pro­posed that the steel posts be re­lo­cated to a less-pop­u­lated open area like farm lots, while some men­tioned the com­mon prac­tice of un­der­ground elec­tric trans­mis­sion lines and the con­sid­er­a­tion of dou­ble-cir­cuit­ing an ex­ist­ing line rather than build­ing a new line.

Hi­zon noted that the NGCP should con­sider other al­ter­na­tives or main­tain sta­tus quo.

“Sta­tus quo na lang muna. And if the NGCP con­tinue to push through with the project de­spite our op­po­si­tion, we are go­ing to file an in­junc­tion and set­tle the is­sue in court,” he said.

Just re­cently, NGCP an­nounced that the re­lo­ca­tion project will be im­ple­mented start­ing this month de­spite the re­sis­tance of var­i­ous stake­hold­ers, in the in­ter­est of public wel­fare and safety.

In a re­cent state­ment to Sun.Star Pam­panga, the NGCP said it will start re­lo­cat­ing the Her­mosaDuhat 230kV trans­mis­sion line along Jose Abad San­tos Av­enue here this Fe­bru­ary 2018 de­spite un­re­solved right-of-way con­cerns.

NGCP Re­gional Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Public Af­fairs Of­fi­cer Ernest Lorenz B. Vi­dal dis­closed the re­lo­ca­tion of the trans­mis­sion line will ad­dress the traf­fic and public safety haz­ards posed by power struc­tures lo­cated by the road­side.

Vi­dal dis­closed that seven of 18 af­fected land own­ers have yet to co­op­er­ate with the re­lo­ca­tion pr oject .

The NGCP in­formed the City Gov­ern­ment of San Fer­nando in Septem­ber 2017 of its in­ten­tion to im­me­di­ately mo­bi­lize for the re­lo­ca­tion. The re­lo­ca­tion, how­ever, was post­poned due to re­sis­tance from the land own­ers.

“We are ap­peal­ing to the seven re­main­ing landown­ers to co­op­er­ate, and the city gov­ern­ment to as­sist NGCP in the im­me­di­ate com­ple­tion of the project. Public safety is NGCP’s ut­most pri­or­ity as a na­tion builder,” NGCP said in its state­ment.

Vi­dal fur­thered that in a re­cent meet­ing, City of San Fer­nando Mayor Ed­win D. San­ti­ago com­mit­ted to as­sist NGCP in se­cur­ing the seven land own­ers’ sup­port to the project.

As early as 2016, NGCP has been in talks with stake­hold­ers such as the City Gov­ern­ment of San Fer­nando, Depart­ment of Public Works and High­ways Re­gion III, and the Pam­panga Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try, Inc. to find an amenable so­lu­tion to re­lo­ca­tion con­cerns.

Vi­dal in the state­ment noted the NGCP in­di­cated its readi­ness to be­gin re­lo­cat­ing as early as the first quar­ter of 2017, but could not pro­ceed be­cause of landowner de­mands.

He said that with the im­me­di­ate co­op­er­a­tion of the re­main­ing seven land own­ers, NGCP is op­ti­mistic that the project will fi­nally be com­pleted this year.

The bored pil­ing and pole erec­tion, and the trans­mis­sion line string­ing are es­ti­mated for com­ple­tion within 120 and 180 cal­en­dar days, re­spec­tively.


Af­fected stake­hold­ers lis­ten as Marco Hi­zon of the Hi­zon Group of Com­pa­nies dis­cusses the ‘sta­tus quo’on the re­lo­ca­tion of NGCP trans­mis­sion lines dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing at Car­world Pam­panga.—

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