DOE sets ‘just’ ROW payment for electric coops

by Myrna Velasco, 12 July 2015
from Manila Bulletin

The Department of Energy (DOE) has prescribed a uniform and ‘just compensation scheme’ for the right-of-way (ROW) properties that may be affected or traversed by the relocation of facilities of electric cooperatives and other distribution utilities – including their electric poles.

Department Circular No. 2015-06-0011 by the energy department stipulates that the cost determination of ROW compensation shall be referenced on the price index and construction specification standards for distribution and/or sub-transmission lines as enforced by the National Electrification Administration.

The Circular stressed that “in the determination of relocation costs, the ECs and the proponent of the government or non-government project is encouraged to come up with a collectively agreed valuation.”

Such, it added, shall take into consideration “the aggregated benefits of the project to the host community.”

ROW issues are generally grueling concerns for power utilities – be it in a manner that they deal with government-owned properties and even tougher with lands owned by private individuals.

The DOE Circular though is intending to help resolve that – and as much as possible – harmonize the system of compensation and enforcement of policies so that the erection or relocation of EC and DU facilities will not disrupt service to end-users.

“No actual relocation can be implemented until just compensation for the relocation of existing electric poles, including the mode of payment are properly determined and agreed upon by the ECs and the government and the proponent of the non-government project,” the DOE Circular has stated.

The department thus directed National Electrification Administration to “issue an advisory to all ECs for the submission of information” relating to “all relocations of electric poles and assets of ECs including ROW issues arising from government or non-government projects.”

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