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New law to reduce risk of power interruption by keeping power lines free of obstructions

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By Genalyn Kabiling

The “Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act” has been signed into law by President Duterte in a bid to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity in the country.

(JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE)

(JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE)

Under Republic Act No. 11361, all power line corridors must be kept clear and free of any obstruction that may disrupt electricity from power plants to consumers.

The new law, signed by the President last August 8, aims to ensure the protection of integrity and reliability of power lines and provides penalties for any violation.

“The State further recognizes that the continuous conveyance of electricity is a matter of national security and is essential to sustaining the country’s economic development,” the law read.

“Finally, the State acknowledges the crucial role of property owners in ensuring that power lines remain free of any dangerous and hazardous activities and improvements,” it added.

The power line corridor is defined by the new law as “the land beneath, the air spaces surrounding and the area traversed by power lines including its horizontal, vertical and similar clearance requirements.”

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

It is also unlawful to prevent the entry of owner or the operator of power lines to the property in performance of duty. Also prohibited is performing activities that will impair the conveyance of electricity and cause damage to power lines.

The power line operator may also seek the help of local government officials, police and military if needed to prevent or remove any power line obstruction.

Violators of the new law may face penalties ranging from one month to 12 years imprisonment and a fine from P50,000 to P200,000.

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