DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 January) — The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) restored Tower 63 on at 2 p.m. on Saturday, two days after it was bombed by unidentified men past 11 p.m. last Thursday.
In her Facebook post late Saturday evening, NGCP Mindanao spokesperson Milfrance Capulong said they completed the repair works on Tower 63 at Purok 4, Barangay Pagangan in Aleosan town, North Cotabato, along the Kabacan-Sultan Kudarat 138-KV line.
“Repair fortunately proceeded unhindered as NGCP encountered no resistance from the landowners,” she stated.
This was the 17th tower bombed since 2015 and the first this year.
According to Capulong, seven tower bombings were recorded in December 2015 alone: Towers 25, 19, 20, 95, 68, 168, and 153.
Support from the public, local government, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, local community leaders was encouraged to help monitor “the safety of the towers so that transmission services remain uninterrupted.”
Last January 6, the grid operator placed Mindanao under red alert status after the island’s power reserves went zero and warned of possible grid collapse due to the insufficient power supply and the bombing of Tower 25 in Lanao del Sur on December 4 which isolated Agus 1 and Agus 2.
But it was back on yellow alert level again the following day.
The transmission company usually declares yellow alert status when “contingency reserve is less than the capacity of the largest synchronized unit of the grid.”
Capulong added repair of Tower 63 was facilitated immediately because there is no land dispute between the landowners and the National Power Corporation (Napocor).
She said Agus 1 and Agus 2, with combined installed capacity of 150 MW, remained isolated from Mindanao because landowners Johnny Intan and Naguib Sambitori refused entry to NGCP personnel, pending unsettled claims by the Napocor.
She said NGCP “awaits resolution on right of way between landowner Sambitoris and government-owned National Transmission Corporation (Transco)”.
“The dispute remains unresolved to this day,” she added.
Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada, told reporters during the inauguration of Therma South Inc.’s (TSI) 300MW coal-fired power plant in Binugao, Toril, Davao City last January 8, that they were verifying whether some of the claimants have been paid for the right of way.
She said most claims have already been paid, but they are still looking for the records for those who have not been paid yet.
“We still have to check if the claims are still valid, and as to how much, and if the amount is reasonable,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)