Mindanao power woes seen to worsen

87 landowners file claims against Transco

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MORE DARK DAYS AHEAD. In this file photo, residents of a village in Cagayan De Oro City in Mindanao affected by the devastating flash flood used an improvised torch as they prepare to sleep at their temporary shelter. AFP/TED ALJIBE

Mindanao’s power woes are expected to be further aggravated as landowners in certain parts of the island have threatened to prevent National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and state-owned National Transmission Corp. (Transco) from entering their property where transmission towers have been put up.

In a statement, lawyer Paterno Esmaquel, who was commissioned by nongovernment organization Pilipinas Para sa Pinoy Inc. (PPP), said the 87 affected landowners would make good on their threats unless they receive their right-of-way settlement from Transco.

The warnings, according to Esmaquel, could further exacerbate the Mindanao power situation as NGCP and Transco would be barred from conducting much-needed regular maintenance of the affected towers.

The warning stemmed from claims of 87 landowners that Transco have yet to compensate for the use of their lands for its transmission towers. The 87 claimants already included the eight landowners who recently surfaced and sought just compensation from Transco for the use of their lands for the latter’s transmission facilities after more than 20 years.

The land owners said they could file separate criminal complaints against Transco president Rolando Bacani and hold him criminally liable for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for Transco’s failure to pay the claims of the affected land owners.

The Mindanao-based landowners claimed their lands were being occupied by Transco’s transmission towers. They alleged that Transco had built the transmission tower on their property more than 20 years ago without paying just compensation or rentals.

The amount was not specified in the letter since it still had to be determined.

The landowners said the transmission towers had caused unrealized revenues to them and that Transco’s occupation or use of the lands was illegal and unlawful without an expropriation order from the courts or a negotiated agreement on the right of way.

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  • UsoUso82

    Usouso82,
    Paano naman Kabayan, Inutile si Pnoy! puro away ang unang agenda sa bayan. Re-active governance pa rin hanggang ngayon. Wala pag-asa kay Pnoy. mag-dusa kayo until 2016 dahil kay Pnoy.

  • suroy_suroy

    The government is looking for investments and can’t even guarantee an ample supply of energy. No wonder why business moves somewhere else.

    But it’s a good reason to hold more and more of those conferences so everybody can talk a lot, be in front of the TV camera, and in the printed news and not to forget, they can eat to drink for free. All paid for by the taxpayer.

    Only in the Philippines (sure not only, but more often).

  • ozkid

    It’s time to tidy up the mess of the past and let’s be fair  to these farmers. The poor lads are just victims of progress. Let’s not forget that they constitute the backbone of our economy.  

    Our law seem to be very outdated specially on areas of compensation to property owners. In the event that private property will be used by the government for development or reforms, just compensation should be base on the current market value of the property. I’m sure a lot of these property owners won’t give up such ownership if they have the choice.

     It’s about time to put the members of the house on notice. Please do something. 

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