8.24.2009

PIA News Service - Tuesday, August 25, 2009

NGCP prioritizes improvements in transmission operations and customer service

New power industry player National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) says it will prioritize improvements in transmission operations and customer services to meet the demand for reliable and quality electricity.

Since NGCP took over the transmission operations business in January this year, it has been exerting extra efforts to conduct the necessary maintenance, rehabilitation, and upgrading activities on its major transmission lines and substation facilities nationwide formerly managed by the government.

In Northern Luzon, NGCP is currently rehabilitating a portion of the 230-kiloVolt San Manuel-Concepcion line which spans 80 kilometers from Concepcion, Tarlac to San Manuel, Pangasinan. Tower No. 159 located on the Agno River floodplain in Villasis, Pangasinan was threatened by strong river current and soil erosion which caused the riverbank to advance directly to the location of the tower.

To maintain the integrity of the entire line, guy wires and other protection structures have been immediately installed onsite to prevent the tower from toppling. A temporary single-circuit line is now being constructed to bypass Tower No. 159. Meanwhile, NGCP will start reconstruction of Tower Nos. 159-160 on a special foundation west of the present location of the towers.

Construction of the bypass line will take approximately 2 weeks to complete while the reconstruction of the towers on a special foundation will take about 3 months.

NGCP expects to proceed immediately with these projects considering that processes including project approvals and the procurement of equipment to operate and maintain the transmission network are much faster now. 

In terms of management style, NGCP President & CEO Dr. Walter W. Brown says the private management set-up allows the company to be more flexible and responsive, especially when it comes to serving and addressing the concerns of customers.

Brown explained, “NGCP is cutting off bureaucratic procedures without compromising the necessary controls. Like any private corporation, we have to earn profits but at the same time, we are very much conscious of the fact that we are providing a public service.”

In a recent meeting with officials of the National Electrification Administration (NEA), Brown has committed to work closely with the said government agency to improve services to its direct customers such as electric cooperatives and other distribution utilities.

Brown also appealed for NEA’s continued support and assistance as they put their minds together to seek possible solutions to problems with electric cooperatives, especially on the issue of nonpayment and disconnection. He noted that NEA has already helped some financially ailing electric cooperatives to settle their accounts through the agency’s short-term credit facility. 

“It is in the best interests of everyone that electricity be always available to direct customers but at the same time, NGCP as a private corporation is also accountable to its investors and other stakeholders. We are grateful to our customers who understand this situation,” he added.

In the mean time, NGCP has asked customers to immediately settle outstanding financial obligations to ensure continuous power transmission services. As a private company, NGCP “needs the funds to carry out its mandate of expanding and maintaining the transmission grid and providing reliable electricity to consumers.”

To maintain power reliability, security, and quality, NGCP is taking all the appropriate actions to protect and uphold the interest of its stakeholders, including power customers who dutifully pay on time. 

To enhance customer services, a focused marketing group has also been created to handle service agreements from contract negotiation to commercial connection, direct connection application services, account management, billing dispute settlement, and regular customer bulletins. (Glory Rebleza, CCS, District 4-NEM/ PIA-Caraga)


POLICE REPORTS
By PO2 Darlin Cabalinan-Migullas

Report on shooting incident 

On August 24, 2009 at around 8:00 o'clock in the morning, one Platoon of Charlie Company, 58th IB. 4ID, Philippine Army led by Lt. Palomino conducted combat patrol at the vicinity of Lianga, Surigao del Sur. When they arrived at Sitio Huangan, Barangay Christine, Lianga, Surigao del Sur from said patrol and while they were fetching water at the Barangay water point of the said place, they were fired upon by more or less five fully armed Communist Terrorists (CTs) led by alias “Butch” of Front Committee (FC)-19A, NEMRC.

Said incident resulted to the death of one PFC Gatera. Follow up operation of the said government troops is still on going. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

Report on robbery incident 

On August 24, 2009 at around 6:00 o'clock in the morning, a certain Chita Lagrama Quivido, of legal age, watchwoman/utility worker of DepEd, San Agustin District reported to San Agustin Municipal Police Station that unidentified perpetrators ransacked the office of the District Supervisor.

Elements from San Agustin Municipal Police Station responded to the said report. Initial investigation disclosed that culprits gained entrance from the main door by cutting/destroying the lock with the used of steel saw.

Said perpetrators carted away one LCD data projector (Taxan model no. KG-P51015) with accessories with estimated cost of PhP40,000.00, USB (Kingston Traveler brand), one unit calculator, one unit cellular phone and cash amounting to more or less PhP3,200.00.  

Meanwhile, at around 6:50 in the morning of same date, one Romalie Milo also reported to San Agustin Municipal Police Station thru cellphone call that the supply room and the BURSAS office of Saint Agustin High School at Poblacion, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur were ransacked by unidentified perpetrator by destroying the main door of the said offices.

Carted away were one unit cellular phone from the supply room and cash amounting to PhP1,407 from the BURSAS office.

Elements of San Agustin Municipal Police Station is still conducting follow up operation for the possible identification and arrest of the suspects. (PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)