Penalties wait for individuals, groups blocking restoration works in Cebu

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram January 06,2022 - 03:21 PM

Linemen from Visayas and Mindanao help the Visayan Electric in the reenergization efforts in the latter’s franchise areas in Cebu. | Visayan Electric photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Individuals or groups caught obstructing restoration works for power and telecommunications in Cebu province are warned.

This after the Cebu Provincial Government issued an executive order (EO) prohibiting such acts and at the same time, imposing penalties for violators. 

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia signed EO No. 1, Series of 2022, disallowing any person from blocking linemen and personnel doing rehabilitation works for electricity and telecommunication networks. 

Garcia released the EO on January 5, and took effect immediately. It is also the first EO the province made for 2022. 

In her EO, the governor stated that they received reports, alleging some linemen deployed to restore power and network signals were blocked from doing their job.

“Personnel of telecommunication companies and electric cooperatives performing rehabilitation work were met with difficulties in reaching or repairing their lines, poles, wires, facilities, and equipment due to private persons and or companies that prevent them from repairing the aforementioned,” portions of the two-page EO read. 

“It is imperative that electricity and telecommunication lines in Cebu, particularly in areas heavily devastated by Super Typhoon Odette, be re-established to curtail the suffering of those affected,” it added. 

As a result, the Capitol will be enforcing the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (Republic Act. No. 10121) through EO No. 1. 

Penalties for violating such law, according to the EO, include fines ranging from P50,000 to P500,000 or imprisonment between six to 12 years, or both. 

“The obstruction or prevention of rehabilitation efforts of telecommunication companies and electric cooperatives are acts punishable under RA No. 10121. The public is hereby informed that non-compliance of this order shall merit the filing of the appropriate criminal case against them for violation of Section 19 of R.A. 10121 and such other laws herein applicable,” the EO said. 

Odette hit the central and southern portions of Cebu on December 16. Three weeks since the typhoon ravaged the island province, electricity, water, and telecommunications are gradually functioning.

Cebu went into total blackout during the first few days of Odette’s aftermath. 

The entire island remains under a state of calamity. /rcg 

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TAGS: Capitol, Cebu‬, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, penalties, restoration works, typhoon Odette

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