NGCP rejects Lanao landowner’s demand

by Lenie Lectura – November 29, 2015

from Business Mirror

THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) refused to pay a landowner’s asking price in exchange for access to the latter’s property.

“We have been coordinating with Mr. Balao Pundag for more than 16 months now to settle the issue, so that the NGCP may have access to his property and clear the trees posing a threat to our lines. Around 1,500 trees planted along NGCP’s ROW [right of way] are within his property. These trees continue to threaten our Agus 2-Kibawe 138-kV [kiloVolt] line,” the NGCP said.

Pundag is the landowner who refused the NGCP entry to his property. The NGCP, meanwhile, is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining and developing the country’s power grid.

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.

The NGCP legally holds the ROW in the areas near and around the transmission towers and posts. The assets, however, are still government-owned.

Despite months of negotiating with Pundag, the grid operator remains unsuccessful in its attempt to resolve ROW issues that prevent transmission line clearing operations and maintenance.

NGCP’s valuation of the trees, based on the local government of Lanao del Sur’s own Schedule of Market Value, amounts to P77,750. Pundag, however, demands P478,650 as payment for the trees, six times NGCP’s valuation.

“The landowner’s demanded payment is exorbitant. We will only pay the fair amount based on standard valuation,” the NGCP said in a statement.