BAGUIO CITY – The Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) is urging all barangay officials in the city’s 128 barangays to report to management employees of telecommunication and cable companies who attach their low-lying cables to their electric poles without the required authority and permit from the rural electric cooperative.
Speaking before the City Council’s regular session last Monday, BENECO general manager Gerardo P. Verzosa said management decided to put a stop to telecommunication and cable companies attaching their cables to their electric poles because of the alleged existence of low-lying and dangling wires that pose a threat to the safety of residents and motorists where the spaghetti wires are located.
He claimed barangay officials must now be bred enough in inquiring from employees of telecommunication and cable companies who are trying to attach their cables to their electric poles to ascertain whether or not the on-going attachments that are made comply with the stringent rules and regulations and with the appropriate permit and authority from the management.
Verzosa said BENECO supports the plan of the local legislative body to enact an anti-dangling wire ordinance but local legislators must ensure that the provisions of the measure will not infringe into the franchises of the telecommunication and cable companies.
The BENECO official pointed out the problem with telecommunication and cable companies is that they do not have sufficient manpower to immediately correct the defects on their wires that are attached to their electric poles, thus, the existence of numerous dangling wires not only in the central business district but also all over the city.
Engr. Melchor Licoben, BENECO network services department, said telecommunication and cable companies enter into a joint pole agreement with the rural electric cooperative, thus, the said companies are mandated to maintain the required clearance from the ground so as not to pose a threat to the safety of the public aside from being an eye sore to the public.
He added telecommunication and cable companies are being notified of their violations through written notices and with attached videos and photos of their dangling wires but there has been a problem on the way they respond to the legitimate complaints from the public, thus, management was constrained to stop allowing the attachment of their cables to their electric poles, except when there is a firm commitment from them to do the immediate corrective measures to their dangling wires the soonest.
According to him, BENECO management even promised the telecommunication and cable companies that they fix their dangling lines along Magsaysay Avenue to serve as a show window for them to emulate in the installation of their cables in other barangays but the same did not materialize because it was overtaken by a number of unforeseen events that transpired over the past several months.
Licoben called on residents of the different barangays to continue supporting the cooperative and the telecommunication and cable companies by reporting the existence of dangling lines in their areas so that the concerned companies can do the immediate correction of their cables. /By Dexter A. See