MCWD notes increase in water meter thefts this year
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) asked the police and the public to help them identify and report water meter thieves and buyers after the it recorded a significant increase of stolen water meters in the first half of 2022.
In a statement, MCWD said a total of 488 water meters were stolen from January 1 until May 20 of this year. Based on their records, the number is already 222 percent of the total number of stolen meters for the whole year of 2021 which was only at 219 meters.
Of the 488 cases, 253 occurred in Cebu City; 80 in Lapu-Lapu City; 67 in Talisay City; 55 in Mandaue City; 22 in Compostela; 7 in Liloan, 3 in Cordova and 1 in Consolacion, the MCWD said.
The MCWD Board of Directors has already ordered its legal department to design an action plan and coordinate with the police to make the possible the arrest of these water meter thieves.
Talisay City Police Station, MCWD said, already sent personnel to MCWD to ask for more information about meter theft and assured that they would investigate the matter.
MCWD is also asking the public to be vigilant and to report any case of water meter theft that they know of by calling MCWD’s Call Center at 254-8434 local 0 or through its official Facebook page: Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) and Messenger.
“If a water meter is stolen, the consumer’s water service is automatically interrupted as the meter connects the stub-out to the service line leading to house. It also poses the risk of water contamination as the line is already open once the water meter is removed,” the MCWD said in the statement.
MCWD said to request for replacement for a stolen water, the consumer has to report the incident to the police station and ask for a police report before visiting the MCWD One-Stop Shop.
The MCWD is also offering a cash reward to those who can give information that would lead to the arrest of water fencers.
Anyone who can assist in the arrest and punishment of meter thieves and sellers of stolen water meters or a fence is eligible for a P10,000 reward, the water district said.
The Anti-Fencing Law of 1979 defines fencing as the act of any person, who with intent to gain for himself or for another, of buying, possessing, keeping, acquiring, concealing, selling or disposing of, or in any other manner deal any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of a crime of robbery or theft.
Fencing is punishable by prision mayor (six years and one day to 12 years in prison) or prision correccional (six months and one day to six years in prison) depending on the value of the property involved.
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