Guidelines for relocation fees of electric poles set

THE Department of Energy and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have agreed on guidelines in the relocation of electric poles that obstruct road rehabilitation and expansion projects.

The two agencies issued Joint Circular No. 01, series of 2017 “prescribing the uniform guidelines and procedures for the proper payment of compensation and/or recovery of cost in the event of the need to relocate the electric cooperative distribution/sub transmission lines for the primary purpose of the government.”

Following the agreement, General Manager Gerardo Verzosa of the Benguet Electric Cooperative notified local government officials the relocation of electric poles will soon be done, for which the DPWH will be billed as to the costs.

“We have decided to already relocate the poles in major roads pending the completion of an inventory of poles and the execution of an agreement with DPWH,” Verzosa said in a letter to Mayor Peter Alos of Atok, Benguet.

In Baguio, subject of the relocation include the poles along Virginia Romulo Drive, particularly towards the Botanical Garden which were left after the DPWH expanded the road by sacrificing the sidewalk.

While providing funds for the cement railing, it failed to include in the program of work the relocation of the electric poles which were erected on the sidewalk.

As agreed, the DPWH will pay the electric cooperative the cost of relocation pursuant to the formula stated (in the agreement), the compensation of which will included the cost of labor and equipment required to dismantle the affected facility or pole of the electric cooperative.”

Payment is pursuant to Section 9 of Republic Act 10531, otherwise known as the National Electrification Reform Act of 2017", which said in part that “in the event of the need of such lands and thoroughfares for the primary purpose of the government, the electric cooperative shall be properly compensated.” (Ramon Dacawi)