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Telco offers to replace broken poles and donate new ones to Cebu City

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | February 18,2022 - 07:33 PM

MECO power

Personnel from MECO work on a toppled post in this photo taken just days after super typhoon Odette hit Lapu-Lapu City. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A telecommunications company is offering to replace broken poles and donating the new poles to the Cebu City government, Councilor Jerry Guardo said.

Guardo, the chairperson of the committee on infrastructure of the City Council, made this revelation on February 18, 2022, during the biweekly Panaghisgot media conference.

Guardo said that one of the challenges the city faced after Odette is the replacement of broken or damaged poles because apparently the poles are either owned by Visayan Electric or by telecommunication companies.

Visayan Electric poles are not problematic because the utility has been replacing broken ones for their restoration program.

The problem lies in the telco poles because a pole can be owned by one company but used by all, which means all telco lines are passing through such poles. Telcos such as Globe and PLDT/Smart have agreements on which poles can be shared or not.

This has posed a bigger challenge for the city government to determine whose liability a particular pole belongs to.

“Unsa nga nakita nga problema kay kining mga telcos naa ni silay pole sharing agreement. Usahay dili ni sila magka agree kay direct competitor man ni sila ang Globe and PLDT. Ang PLDT kung wala silay agreement, they will not allow nga ang Globe moattach sa ilang pole, vice versa. That causes a redundancy sa atong mga poles,” said Guardo.

Now, another telco, Converge, is offering the city a deal that may solve the redundancy pole problem. They are willing to replace broken poles and then donate the poles to the city government.

This way, the city can take control of the poles and any telco can use them. Converge, which has only recently begun servicing Cebu City will also get to use the poles they donated.

“After they have installed the pole, they will donate it to the city government, and then it is up to us kung kinsa atong pagamiton sa pole,” said Guardo.

For Guardo, this is a good option for the city because too many poles have become a problem for many streets and have also caused the spaghetti wire problem.

Entangled wires not only pose danger to residents passing through the area, but it might cause greater harm during calamities such as typhoons.

The councilor has introduced various ordinances to the City Council in hopes to fix the problem such as the single-pole policy and the increased height for electric posts to avoid drooping of wires.

All this legislation is in hopes to solve the pole problem that became apparent after Typhoon Odette especially when power and communication lines were cut.

In the meantime, the Task Force Ratsada continues to clear the city’s major thoroughfares from broken poles and spaghetti wires.

Mayor Michael Rama has given the telcos until February 24, 2022, or Charter Day to complete their clearing operations.      /rcg


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TAGS: Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, converge, Globe, Smart, telco, typhoon Odette

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