NGCP: Work schedule affected by ‘strict’ anti-COVID measures in Kidapawan

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 1 October) – An official of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Southwestern Mindanao has complained that the city government has been the strictest nationwide in terms of implementing quarantine measures, affecting the schedule of its repair and maintenance works.

The Mt. Apo Geothermal Power Plant in the hinterlands of Kidapawan CIty. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

Michael Ortega Ligalig, regional communications and public affairs senior specialist of NGCP – Southwest Mindanao said the local government still required their crew to undergo a 14-day quarantine before they could start their work despite the negative results of their Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

Ligalig said their personnel have tested negative of COVID-19 based on RT-PCR tests done in Manila and upon arrival at the Davao International Airport.

“Plus, nag-rapid test na rin sila sa opisina. Parang di ko maintindihan kung bakit di pa rin kami papasukin ng Kidapawan City LGU sa kanilang lugar kung hindi kami mag-quarantine ng 14 days (They also underwent rapid tests at the office. I can’t understand why the Kidapawan City LGU would not allow us there if we don’t undergo a 14-day quarantine),” he said during an interview Thursday by RONDA FM TeleRadyo here.

He added the Department of Energy has already issued a memorandum order to LGUs to “relax” their protocols for NGCP workers who would perform inspection and maintenance of their transmission lines all over the country.

“Parang sa buong Pilipinas, ang pinakamahigpit lang ‘ata ay ang Kidapawan (It seems Kidapawan is the strictest all over the Philippines),” he said.

The NGCP crew was supposed to check the Mount Apo 69-kilovolt transmission line and inspect the Mount Apo Geothermal Power Plant, both in Barangay Ilomavis in Kidapawan.

Ligalig said they submitted a few days ago their letter request directly to the office of City Mayor Joseph Evangelista where it was received by the mayor’s secretary.

City administrator Lu Mayormita said in the written reply to NGCP that its crew must undergo a 14-day quarantine in an isolation facility here before they may proceed to Mt. Apo.

In a statement released to media on Thursday, the NGCP said it is eager to finish its critical projects as close to the original timelines as possible.

“We are also fully cognizant of the need to restrict movement and activities to help stem the spread of the virus… Project schedules are continually re-assessed as varying degrees of community quarantine remain in effect,” it added.

Asked for comment, Evangelista in a text message said, “No comment. Let the NGCP put in writing their concerns addressed to me and we will answer their issues.” (Malu Cadeliña Manar/MindaNews)