The Davao Oriental Provincial Government has ordered all 183 barangays of the province to activate their respective Barangay Power Associations (BaPA) to help in ensuring that power interruptions in the province would be resolved.

In Resolution No. 16-20-07-2019 sponsored by Board Member Louis Rabat, it urged the creation of BaPAs to help the Davao Oriental Electric Cooperative in the cleaning and clearing operations of power lines.

“This is in response to Davao Oriental citizens’ complaints about recurrence of sudden power interruptions which is nakakasira na usually sa’ting mga appliances and of course without electricity we are uncomfortable to move, and this is due to uncleared vegetation, particularly trees, comes within contact and damaged the power lines,” Board Member Rabat said in his Facebook post.

The resolution entitled “A Resolution Highly Requesting the 183 Barangays in Davao Oriental Through the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas-Davao Oriental Chapter, To Activate their respective Barangay Power Association (BAPA) To help the Davao Oriental Electric Cooperative,Inc. (DORECO) in the Clearing and Cleaning Operation of Power Lines” was approved and signed by Governor Nelson Dayanghirang on August 5, 2019.

Despite the stable power supply, the province of Davao Oriental still suffers from intermittent power interruptions due to damaged power lines from trees and other obstructions.

According to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Mindanao has an average of 900MW operating margin at any given time compared to Visayas with only 317MW operating margin.

Coincidentally, President Rodrigo Duterte just signed Republic Act 11361 or the Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act on August 8.

The new law prohibits the planting of tall-growing plants, the construction of hazardous improvements, and the conduct of any hazardous activities within the power line corridor.

It also outlines the duties and responsibilities of power line owners and operators in the prevention and removal of disturbances or obstructions to the power lines, whether located on public or private property.

The new law likewise authorizes power line owners and operators to seek the assistance of local government officials, Philippine National Police, and Armed Forces of the Philippines in the discharge of their duties.

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