Untangling those spaghetti wires
A proposed ordinance to set a single post for various utility companies may not solve the perennial problem of spaghetti wires and collapsing posts that pose a safety threat to passersby.
But it is a viable albeit temporary palliative measure that can be either amended or included as part of an omnibus building ordinance for public and private infrastructure in Cebu City.
There had been plans to set up an underground power line system by the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) that were announced a few years ago and we’d like to think that it is still in development as soon as their finances permit them to expand on this plan.
In other countries most of the lines had been placed underground, carefully placed so as not to be damaged by underground mass transport such as subways and tunnels.
Public utility posts are mostly confined in the countryside where there is smaller to zero traffic and utility firms can set them up spaced comfortably between houses, buildings and trees.
The same cannot be said unfortunately for the Philippines, where spaghetti wires had been an urban eyesore for decades. There had been accidents that claimed lives and the previous City Hall administration had once gathered all officials of public utility firms to require them to fix their spaghetti wires.
Now this ordinance as proposed by Councilor Jerry Guardo seeks to rationalize the setting up of wirings in the city streets and the proposal looks promising so far. At the very least it will reduce the risk of falling wires and posts to passersby.
Under the proposed ordinance, the new posts will be raised from 16 feet to 20 feet and certain portions of the posts will be assigned to each utility firm with Veco being on top.
Based on some reports, City Hall is already clearing the spaghetti wires along the parade route for next year’s Sinulog festivities and that, along with the continued enforcement on the ban on street parties and liquor consumption will help ensure a peaceful and orderly fiesta celebration.
Hopefully the posts will come with a sign of sorts that notify the public of the placement of the wires and which of them belong to what utility firm. The current setup prevents identification of wirings since all of them look alike.
So when an accident does occur, not one company can be identified and called to account for their mistakes. Again, we hope that the ordinance would become part of a working solution that would clear the city streets of spaghetti wires.
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