BAGUIO CITY – More than P13.6 million was earmarked by the Department of Public works and Highways – Baguio City District Engineering Office (DPWH-BCDEO) to fund the relocation of electric poles that have encroached in the road-right-of-way of national roads in the different parts of the city to prevent unnecessary obstructions that impede the smooth flow of traffic.
Engr. Rene Zarate, DPWH-BCDEO district engineer, said the funds were already downloaded by the DPWH central office to the district office pursuant to the pertinent provisions of a joint Memorandum circular that was signed by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the DPWH to facilitate the speedy relocation of electric poles that are located within the road-right-of-way of national roads to allow the speedy implementation of widening projects that will be implemented by the agency.
Under the provisions of the joint DOE-DPWH circular, the concerned electric cooperative is mandated to make the necessary computations on the cost of the relocation of their electric poles that are situated in the road-right-of-way of national roads and subsequently submit the same to the DPWH district office which shall in turn provide the DOE with a copy of the computations for reference and guidance.
Zarate explained that it is also provided in the joint circular that the payments to be made by the DPWH to the concerned electric cooperative will be the actual cost of the relocation minus the depreciation cost of the poles, thus, the allotted funds for the purpose will be sufficient to pay the relocation of all electric poles that were found to have encroached in the road-right-of-way along national roads in the different parts of the city to lessen the unnecessary obstructions that impede the smooth flow of traffic and the speedy implementation of infrastructure projects.
It can be recalled that the implementation of numerous infrastructure projects in the city had been delayed because of the refusal of public works contractors to pay to the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) the computed cost of the relocation of their electric poles that have allegedly encroached the road-right-of-way of national roads.
Zarate clarified that the funds will only be used for the relocation of electric poles within the road-right-of-way of national roads while it will be up to the local government to work out the provision of funds to also relocate the electric poles that have encroached the road-right of way of city and barangay roads.
He admitted that BENECO was able to submit to the agency the inventory of the electric poles that must be relocated and the computations of the required funds to be used for the relocation which is now serving as their reference in the preparation of the needed plans on how to go about the relocation of the affected poles.
The DPWH-BCDEO is the custodian of the funds that were downloaded by the central office for the implementation of the immediate relocation of the electric poles of BENECO that has been put up in the road-right-of-way of national roads in the different parts of the city.
By Dexter A. See