By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 15, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) will put up a permanent tower to replace the felled Tower 34 in Alabang by end-May to ensure continued electricity supply through the Biñan-Muntinlupa 230kV transmission line.
“Our target for a permanent structure is on or before May 30,” NGCP South Luzon regional head Gerardo Torres said, noting the grid operator is currently fabricating a new tower.
Tower 34 collapsed last April 19 due to a fire caused by informal settlers living underneath the tower.
Three days later, NGCP has set Tower 34 on its temporary base at the rightmost lane of the Alabang exit as repairs continue and construction of the permanent structure is being undertaken.
“The temporary structures, we’re confident that it is stable on normal circumstances. However, we can’t say when a storm will come or how long it will last,” Torres said.
Once the new tower is up, NGCP will also construct a perimeter wall to ensure no informal settlers will build houses under the tower.
“We hope there’s no more opportunity for informal settlers to come back. We’re currently finalizing the design and the right-of-way for the perimeter wall. Once the permanent tower is in place, we will construct the fence within the year,” Torres said.
Meanwhile, NGCP will also meet with Muntinlupa local officials to discuss other areas that have informal settlers in the vicinity of transmission facilities.
“We will make a presentation of all the transmission facilities with informal settlers. We will seek their assistance because we can’t force them out of the transmission facilities since we don’t have police powers,” Torres said.
NGCP continues its appeal to respect transmission right-of-way (row) clearances to avoid similar incidents, which threaten both continued transmission operations and the safety of people in the area.
It also reiterated its call to local LGUs to support NGCP’s efforts in keeping ROW clearances free from safety violations.
“They also pose a hazard to the transmission facilities and to the public. We are asking those who are living under our transmission facilities to move to a safer location, away from our lines and towers to ensure that delivery of power to communities remains stable and uninterrupted,” NGCP said.