by Lenie Lectura, 22 August 2015
POWER-GRID operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has launched a tree-replacement program for the construction of the Santa Rita-Quinapondan 69-kiloVolt (kV) transmission line project, which will provide better power-delivery services and address future load growth in Western and Eastern Samar.
Thirty percent of the project cost was released as mobilization fund to Samarsur Upland Farmers Association (Sufa) and the San Antonio, Tinaogan, Cambayan Farmers Association (Santicamfa) from Eastern Samar, which were selected by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The people’s organizations received checks amounting to P2,724,700 and P581,390, respectively.
The program is in compliance with DENR’s Memorandum 2012-02, which requires NGCP to replace trees that will be cut with 100 seedlings for every naturally growing tree and 50 seedlings for every planted tree.
Under the terms and conditions of the memorandum of agreement entered by and among the DENR, Sufa and Santicamfa, and NGCP, the farmers associations will undertake the production, planting and maintenance, and protection of forest and fruit-tree seedlings over a three-year period on behalf of NGCP. Monitoring of the progress of the reforestation activities shall be undertaken.
The project is at the initial phase consisting of the production of tree seedlings. Sufa has already produced the required 16,600 seedlings, including the 3,320 seedlings for the 20-percent mortality allowance. The seedlings are composed of patsaragon (8,000); hagakhak (8,000); wakatan (1,420); and coffee (2,500). Santicamfa in Basey, Samar, has produced 130,000 seedlings of assorted forest-tree species and fruit trees.
Preparations are already underway for the start of the planting of the tree seedlings at the 80-hectare and 10-hectare reforestation sites in Basey, Samar and Giporlos, Eastern Samar, respectively.
Apart from the usual forest-tree seedlings required for the project, NGCP also included the planting of fruit-tree seedlings to provide an extra source of income for the farmers who are still trying to get back on their feet after the devastation brought on by Supertyphoon Yolanda (international code name Haiyan).
The Santa Rita-Quinapondan 69-kV project, expected to be energized in 2016, spans 97 circuit-kilometers and will traverse the municipalities of Santa Rita, Basey and Marabut in Western Samar, and the municipalities of Lawaan, Balangiga, Giporlos, and Quinapondan in Eastern Samar.
The NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations and related assets.
The consortium, which holds the 25-year concession contract to operate the country’s power transmission network, is comprised of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp., led by Henry Sy Jr.; Calaca High Power Corp., led by Robert Coyiuto Jr.; and the State Grid Corp. of China as technical partner.