By Lenie Lectura – December 25, 2018
from Business Mirror
THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines said it takes its anti-pilferage campaign seriously following a court order against an individual who was charged with theft of NGCP tower parts in Bataan.
The Regional Trial Court of Balanga, Bataan has ordered Rodolfo Malang, a private lot caretaker from Abucay, Bataan, to pay a fine of P50,000 after the court found him guilty of the storage and possession of stolen steel angular bars, braces, bolts and nuts, and several other tower parts found in the nipa hut he was residing in.
These parts were found missing from Tower 85 of NGCP’s Hermosa-Limay 230-kiloVolt line after an inspection was conducted by NGCP’s security personnel.
The accused said the materials found in his possession were only purchased from a junkshop. However, the court said the Anti-Electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994 punishes mere storage, possession or keeping of transmission materials without the owner’s consent. Actual taking or intent to take need not be proved. This law prohibits the illegal use of electricity and theft of transmission lines or materials.
“Apart from violating a law, pilfered towers weaken the overall reliability of the power grid and endangers nearby residents should the facility be rendered unstable,” the NGCP said. Violators of the said law can face a similar penalty of paying a fine ranging from P50,000 to P100,000, reclusion temporal, which lasts from 12 years and one day to 20 years in prison, or both, depending on the gravity of the crime.
NGCP reiterates its reminder to the public that pilferage or stealing any part of a transmission tower, or the mere possession of stolen tower parts, is a crime punishable by law. It strongly encourages the public to report cases of pilferage or any suspicious activity near or along transmission lines.
NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy Jr. and Robert Coyiuto Jr.