June 20, 2024

To ensure continuous transmission and distribution of electricity especially during the summer months, the Department of the Interior and Local Government urged local government units to enact ordinances to prevent obstructions and hazardous activities within the power line corridors (PLCs) in their respective localities in support of the implementation of Republic Act 11361 or the Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act (AOPLA).
Sec. Eduardo M. Año said now that the demand for electricity is increasing because of the dry season, LGUs should be able to regulate activities that may obstruct power lines to ensure uninterrupted electricity transmission for businesses, residences, and other areas.
“The continuous supply of electricity is essential for us to do our daily activities especially at this time when our economy is gradually recovering from the effects of the pandemic. Local governments should, therefore, see to it that the integrity and safety of power plants are safeguarded by regulating hazardous activities and improvements in areas surrounding the PLCs,” he said.
In Memorandum Circular 2022-036, Año said LGU building officials must require building owners who will be undertaking construction or maintenance activities near the PLC to obtain a certification from the power line operator or their authorized contractor stating that the construction or maintenance activity will not affect the PLC before the issuance of a building permit.
“Without the PLO certification, the LGU building official will not issue a business permit to the building owner. This is just to make sure that the operations of power and generation plants will not be affected by constructions or improvements that were not coordinated with the PLO,” he said.
Año said the law allows PLOs to conduct clearing activities within or intruding into PLCs without obtaining clearance or a permit from concerned LGUs, provided that due notice is given to the concerned city/municipality at least three days before the conduct of the clearing activities. These activities include trimming, pruning, cutting, or clearing tall growing plants, as well as dismantling or demolition of hazardous improvements.
He said such notice should also be submitted by the PLO to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and to the Philippine Coconut Authority, in case the trees to be trimmed, cut, pruned, or cleared are coconut trees.
In the clearing activities, he said LGUs and the Philippine National Police may be called upon to help in regulating traffic flow for vehicular and pedestrian traffic and communicating with private property owners in the event of a refusal.
Año said it is also the responsibility of LGUs to inform and educate their respective constituents, including property owners and homeowners’ associations, about RA 11361 and other regulations and policies relative to preventing obstructions and dangerous activities near power plants.
“To ensure the support, cooperation and compliance of surrounding communities, they should be made aware of what activities are not allowed near the generation and power plants that might affect the steady supply of electricity and could pose danger to nearby areas,” he said.
He warned LGUs not to do the unlawful acts enumerated under Section 6 of the AOPLA.
These include preventing or refusing duly authorized agents of the owner or operator of power lines entry into the property in the performance of acts enumerated in the law; planting or causing to be planted tall-growing plants within the power line corridor; conducting or performing any hazardous activities, or constructing or erecting any hazardous improvements within the power line corridor; and performing any analogous activities which will impair the conveyance of electricity and cause damage to power lines.
“Negligent LGU officials who will be found guilty of committing such acts or issuing building permits in violation of AOPLA will be meted penalties under the said law and the Local Government Code,” he said. – Press release