Right-of-way access appears to be an endless dilemma for National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), as another landowner is preventing its work anew at the 138-kilovolt Matanao-General Santos in Malungon, Sarangani.
The company identified the alleged “uncooperative landowner” as Edmundo Cejar, emphasizing that he “illegally stopped NGCP from continuing the project” in the area.
The transmission firm claimed that Cejar’s property compensation was already partly settled with half-a-million pesos done via “provisional deposit with the court” – an arrangement he reportedly accepted.
NGCP explained that the landowner is “insisting that the property should be evaluated first for just compensation for the damages caused by the project.”
However, the transmission company noted that based on the writ of possession issued by the Sarangani Regional Trial Court Branch 23, NGCP is allowed “to enter and place in possession and acquire an easement of right-of-way” at Cejar’s property that will be traversed by the Matanao-General Santos transmission line project.
NGCP claimed that the project would be part of the entire development chain to reinforce the reliability of Mindanao grid. In that area, there would also be new capacities coming on stream to boost supply in the grid.
The company has opined that “by participating in the expropriation proceedings, and accepting partial payment, Mr Cejar submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court and its processes.”
In NGCP’s interpretation, the arrangement should have been for it to be allowed to pursue the project “pending the determination of just compensation” for the Cejars.
The transmission firm thus noted that Cejar “cannot obey court procedures when accepting payment, and then unilaterally change his mind and defy the court whenever it suits him.”
NGCP emphasized that as a concessionaire of the government-owned transmission assets, it purportedly “was granted the right of eminent domain under (its) congressional franchise.”
The company expounded “this is in recognition of the public service nature of the transmission business…this grants the holder the right to take property while just compensation is being discussed.”