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Friday, March 27, 2015

NGCP seeks media’s help to stir awareness on impact of ROW violations

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, March 27 (PIA) --- The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) asked the help of media practitioners in the two Lanao provinces in raising awareness on the impact of right-of-way (ROW) violations to the integrity of the grid in Mindanao.

The intentional planting of trees under and along power lines has an adverse effect on the power system in Mindanao, said Emmanuel Abellanosa, head of NGCP Mindanao Operations & Maintenance (MOM) Regional Office during the media orientation on ROW violations in Lanao, Thursday, March 26.

Vegetation can cause power interruption of the lines which can lead to brownouts or blackouts. Industrial customers also suffer production losses due to power outages and voltage dips.

At present, there are already three power lines out of operation due to the vegetation problems. The Baloi-Agus 6 69kV Line was no longer functioning since January 2015 while the Baloi-Agus 2 138kV Line 1 and 2 was out of operation since August and October last year, respectively.

According to NGCP, Agus 1 and Agus 2 hydroelectric (HE) plants are in danger of being isolated from the grid because the only link that they have to the grid is thru the Agus 2-Kibawe 138 kV lines. When these lines trip, Agus 1 and Agus 2 HE plants will be isolated and cannot generate power, thus, more shortage of power.

We have already asked the help of various stakeholders, from the local government units, military, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) but were unsuccessful. They said it was so hard to convince landowners to settle down with our estimates, Abellanosa added.

NGCP has been dealing with the ROW problems since it took over the operations of the country’s electric business.

There were only few ROW problems during the TRANSCO time. But when it was about to be privatized, it was discovered that some landowners started planting trees under transmission lines and refused to be negotiated. When NGCP took over in 2009, ROW problems began to crop, said Mr. Avelino Dawis, head of NGCP District 2 Operations and Maintenance.

He said the landowners are demanding too much before NGCP can cut down their trees that are posing dangers to the power lines.

NGCP has already filed eight expropriation cases.

Dawis said they are also readying to file another 12 cases in the next few days.

But such legal action, he said, entails a long process and the worsening of the ROW problems might affect the stability of the Mindanao grid. (APB/PIA-10)
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Lanao media practitioners tapped on line safety info drive

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, March 27 (PIA) --- The country’s power grid operator has enlisted the help of Lanao media to disseminate information on transmission line safety. 

Safety violations are detrimental to transmission operations and public safety, said Beth Ladaga, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) Mindanao Regional Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Officer, during the Media Orientation on ROW Violations in Lanao and Facility Tour in Iligan Area Control Center, yesterday, March 26.

Ladaga said safety practices will prevent power interruptions and ensure safety of residents.

She emphasized that planting of trees and building of houses or any structure under or near transmission lines are prohibited to prevent accidents and power trippings.

The public are also discouraged to park vehicle near or under transmission lines, climb transmission structures, fly kites near transmission lines, put-up antennas and build grass fires near or under power lines.

Carrying long sticks or any object that might reach or come in contact with the power transmission lines is also considered as unsafe practices.

We should advocate observance of line safety at all times to prevent accidents, damage to life and properties, and power outages, Ladaga added.

The transmission line safety campaign of NGCP aims to raise public awareness on maintaining reliable, secure and safe transmission system in the country and in ensuring public safety in the communities. (APB/PIA-10)
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ARMM implements P77M worth of infra projects in Mamasapano

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, March 27 (PIA) --- The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will put up various infrastructure projects totaling P77.336 million, in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao to help rehabilitate and address the development needs of conflict-affected communities in the area.

The projects include school buildings, water and sanitation facilities, a bridge, access road and a mosque.

“Gagawin naming oportunidad ang nangyari (noong January 25) sa Mamasapano upang mas gumanda ang buhay ng mga kababayan natin dito,” said ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman.

Hataman is optimistic that the projects will help usher in peace and development in the area.

The region’s Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will construct a total of nine school buildings costing P44.397 million in different schools in the municipality.

Funds for the six school buildings will come from the Department of Education-ARMM and the remaining three will be funded from DPWH-ARMM’s savings, amounting to P3.5 million.

DPWH-ARMM will also build eight water and sanitation facilities costing P5.439 million, and P9 million worth of water supply systems in different identified barangays.

Emil Sadain, DPWH-ARMM secretary, said the projects will help address the development needs of communities that have been affected by the 25 January Mamasapano incident and the ensuing military offensive.

In addition to the school buildings and water facilities, Sadain said ARMM will construct an 880m access road from Tukanalipao proper to Sittio Ameril, amounting to P7.5 million, and a 120m, P10 million steel footbridge.

Moreover, ARMM will fund the construction of a mosque amounting to P1 million in Barangay Tukanalipao, which will be undertaken by the Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division.

Hataman together with Major General Edmundo Pangilinan, PA-6ID commanding general, Mamasapano Mayor Tahirodin Benzar A. Ampatuan, Sadain, and Director Ramil Masukat, ARMM’s Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Officer, led on Wednesday, March 24, the ground breaking rites of the school building, water and sanitation, and mosque projects.

Hataman said the involvement the army in the implementation of the infrastructure projects in Mamasapano shows that the military is supportive of the Mindanao peace process.

ARMM also provided livelihood assistance to the ten civilian families affected in the 25 January Mamasapano incident during the groundbreaking. The assistance included four mechanized hand tractors and six passenger tricycles. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/APB/PIA-10)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lanao del Sur donates P2.5M worth of relief goods to Maguindanao evacuees

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, March 24 (PIA) --- Civic groups here have turned-over around P2.5 million worth of relief goods to the Tabang Sibilyan donation center of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to help evacuees in Maguindanao.

The relief goods which included 272 sacks of rice, canned goods, noodles, and other food and non-food items were transported Monday, March 23, in Cotabato City on thirteen forward trucks.

ARMM has launched the Tabang Sibilyan relief and peace advocacy campaign early this month in response to the escalating conflict in Maguindanao, which has already displaced 25,067 families.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman has also ordered the drafting of a humanitarian and development action plan to address the rehabilitation and other post-conflict needs of affected communities.  

The region spends more than P1 million daily on food assistance alone for the thousands of families staying in at least 75 evacuation centers in the province.

Haroun Alrashid Lucman, ARMM vice-governor and concurrent Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) secretary, lauded the people of Lanao del Sur for responding to the call for aid of displaced families in Maguindanao.

The donations from Lanao del Sur were collected by the Saksi Islamic Radio Forum and Foundation (SIRFF), the Lanao Confederation for Peace and Grand Mufti Alim Murad Amanodin.

The group launched a provincial counterpart of ARMM’s donation drive Tabang Sibilyan and urged political leaders to take actions and restore peace in Maguindanao.

“We sympathize with our Muslim brothers affected by the military’s all-out offensive in Maguindanao, which has resulted to massive displacement among civilians,” said Musa Sultan of the SIRFF. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/APB/PIA-10)

ARMM LGUs to be evaluated for competitiveness

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, March 24 (PIA) --- The National Competitiveness Council will include selected Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in its annual Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) survey this year, a regional official announced Monday.

The CMCI ranks Philippine cities and municipalities based on 28 indicators that are grouped into three equally-weighed pillars: Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency and Infrastructure. The combined score on each pillar indicates their rank.

The index was developed by the NCC in 2012.
Abubacar Datumanong, DTI-ARMM assistant secretary, said it is the first time for the NCC to include ARMM LGUs in its survey.

He said the region’s two component cities – Marawi and Lamitan – and 43 municipalities will undergo the survey.

He further said the survey and series of orientations for the selected LGUs will start anytime in April.

“Titingnan ng isang business investor kung how ready ang isang particular area or particular LGU concerning business and infrastructure, at ang kanilang CMCI ranking ang magiging picture nila once na papasok sila sa isang locality to put up investment,” he added.

ARMM has already organized a Regional Competitiveness Committee (RCC), chaired by the region’s DTI office, to spearhead the CMCI survey.

An academic institution selected through bidding will undertake the actual survey.

In line with this, Datumanong encouraged LGU officials to support the project which will be completed before May 15.

“We need their full cooperation, and we request them to provide accurate data for the survey,” he said. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/PIA-10)