Published May 1, 2017, 10:00 PM By Myrna M. Velasco
With a fire-induced technical glitch at its transmission network just recently, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has been prodded anew to start installing “fence protection” at its transmission facilities so slum dwellers would not be encroaching into them.
Senate Committee on Energy Chairman Sherwin T. Gatchalian renewed his call on the transmission concession firm following that fire incident which downed its 230-kilovolt Biñan-Muntinlupa transmission lines 1 and 2 along the metropolis’ Alabang exit.
While the incident had been faulted on informal settlers, he opined that NGCP is critically responsible because of the lack of buffer system or protection that could have isolated its facilities from illegal occupants. He noted that this problem has been persisting since 2008-2009 – when he had a tiff with the NGCP spokesperson – over his proposal that the company should be relocating the informal settlers and at least set up fence to ensure non-intrusion at the sites of its transmission facilities. (MMV)
“When I was a mayor, I had big argument with NGCP – I told them, they should put fence to protect their facilities because invasion of slum dwellers could be uncontrollable…that was 2008-2009, but until now, nothing happened,” Gatchalian stressed.
He added “the point there is they’re not doing anything, that’s my point…even in vacant lots, they’re not even taking initiatives to put up the necessary fence protection. They should start putting fences in their facilities, it will never end if they will not start moving.”
The lawmaker emphasized that if the transmission company will not act in setting up that ‘physical shield’ between its facilities and the urban communities, there will come a time that this dilemma would turn wayward and would already be impossible to manage, especially in Metro Manila.