NEGROS ORIENTAL, Jan. 20 (PIA) -- The Negros Oriental Electric Cooperative (NORECO-I) announced to its member-consumers that tall trees or other structures which obstruct power lines will be cleared in line with Republic Act 11361.
NORECO-I Institutional Services Manager Jonah Maxino explained that the law strongly prohibits planting of tall trees or setting up structures like houses within three meters along the power line corridor.
The electric cooperative is allowed to clear these obstructions in coordination with local government units and agencies such as Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The issue on clearing of trees that lean towards electric posts or structures located near electric lines which threaten the continuous supply of electricity were brought up during the two consecutive Kapihan sa PIA fora held in Guihulngan City and Jimalalud on Jan. 16 and 17, respectively.
Signed by Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Aug. 8, 2019, the "Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act" underscores the role of property owners in ensuring that power lines are free from any hazardous or dangerous activities and improvements.
Aside from ensuring that there are no obstructions near power lines, the law also prohibits burning of waste and other materials, excavation, quarrying, and construction of structures near the power line corridor which could interrupt the distribution of electricity.
NORECO-I Board of Director President Alfonso Tadiffa emphasized that it is the duty of the member-consumer to keep the power line corridor free from any threats that disrupt the supply of electricity.
"Obligasyon isig usa konsumedor na dili motanom ug kahoy ilalom sa linya sa NORECO kay in the future mo-cause ni ug power outage (It is the obligation of the consumer to avoid planting trees under NORECO-I posts because it could cause power outage in the future)," Tadiffa appealed to member-consumers.
"Ako i-encourage ninyo kung duna moy nakit-an na kahoy gitanom lalom sa linya sa NORECO. Gamay pa lang daan putla ninyo palihog mientras wala pa nidako (I would like to encourage everyone that if you see a plant under a NORECO-I post, kindly cut it down or remove it while it is still young)," he added.
Individuals who refuse to cooperate with the electric cooperative and other agencies in clearing obstructions near electric posts will have to pay penalties starting at P50,000 to up to P200,000 and imprisonment.
Meanwhile, Tadiffa also welcomed Guihulngan City Mayor Carlo Jorge Joan Reyes's suggestion to have a meeting with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in enforcement of easement laws along national highways in relation also to clearing obstructions near NORECO-I electric lines.
Mayor Reyes pushed for the full enforcement of easement laws to clear highways from any elements that could pose a threat to electric posts and avoid possible power interruption caused by these structures.
"Ang maayong buhaton, ang mga municipality ug NORECO, ug DPWH magstoryahanay ta. Atong i-implement ang balaod kaning naa sa kalsada walang kahoy para walang brown-out. Naas a balaod sa national highway, from the center aisle 20 meters pwede nato pamutlon ang kahoy (The best thing to do is for municipalities, NORECO, and DPWH to sit down and discuss how to fully enforce the law that strictly prohibits growing of trees along highways to avoid incidence of power outages. According to the law, we can clear trees within 20 meters from the center aisle)," Reyes said. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)