Friday, 01 June 2012 11:13
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has urged the public to help protect transmission lines for an efficient power transmission to the consumers.
In a media briefing held recently here, NGCP consultant Guillermo Redoblado said transmission lines should be free from obstructions and most importantly, protected from robbery.
“As much as possible, our lines should be free from contacts with other objects. These really affect the smooth transmission of our power to the cooperatives and all the more to our consumers. But most important is we have to protect our lines and towers from thieves.
If our towers are destroyed due to pilfering, it will greatly affect the stability of our towers and will be susceptible to damage especially during calamities,” Redoblado said.
NGCP spokesperson Atty. Cynthia Alabanza added that anything that touches the transmission lines causes tripping, thus interrupting the flow of power.
“Even a branch of tree touching our lines can really affect the quality of power transmitted to the public. This results in power loss, which unfortunately, consumers pay for,” she said.
Alabanza has also warned that pilfering is punishable by law as mandated by Republic Act (RA) No. 7832 or the “Act Penalizing the Pilferage of Electricity and Theft of Electric Power Transmission Lines and Materials.”
“We have RA No. 7832, which imposes punishment to pilferers. This does not only apply to thieves but also to those who buy parts of our towers like junk shop owners among others,” Alabanza explained.
Under the law, violators face up to 20 years in prison and a fine ranging from P50,000 to P100,000.
NGCP-Mindanao Communications Officer Milfrance Capulong said pilferage is their biggest problem in the region, especially here in Zamboanga City.
“Zamboanga City actually has the highest cases of pilferage in Mindanao, particularly the Sangali-Recodo line. Unfortunately, we really can’t file cases against most of the culprits as they are minors. That is why we have augmented security in that area”, Capulong said.
She asked the media to help educate the public to curb pilferage in the city.
As reminders, NGCP officials urged the public to avoid kite-flying near transmission lines, and also climbing transmission towers as this may cause electrocution. The public should not also build fire and plant trees near or under transmission structures, avoid anything to come in contact with the lines, and report any incident of leaning posts or towers, or sagging lines. As much as possible, people should stay away from power lines and towers to avoid accidents and also ensure uninterrupted power transmission, NGCP officials said.
by: JPA/MVC-PIA9 ZBST
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