Naga to get rid of “spaghetti wires”
CEBU, Philippines — Dangling or “spaghetti” wires will soon have no place at the bustling City of Naga, known as the industrial hub in Southern Cebu.
The Naga City government has taken measures to shift from using posts in hanging electric wires and cables to undergrounding them in order to get rid of the “urban eyesore,” which also poses risks to the public.
Through an ordinance, the City Council has drafted the timeline of its implementation and the composition of a special body that will oversee the undertaking.
Ordinance No. 2019-001 or the “Utility Line Ordinance” of the City of Naga was approved on February 6, 2019.
The city government also stipulates under the ordinance that it will be “mandatory” for owners of electric power lines, telephone and communication lines, and cable TV lines especially along the public and subdivision roads to follow the policy of undergrounding all overhead utility lines.
The city government found it necessary to create an advisory body, or the Utility Lines Installation Coordinating Committee (ULICC), to be headed by the city engineering office.
The primary task of this advisory body is to manage, administer, regulate and control the installation, construction, design and repairs of the underground utility lines distribution system.
This body will build a coordinative and working relationships among member agencies, both private and government.
The group will be composed of the representative of the mayor; city engineer or a representative knowledgeable of the utility application standards; City Planning and Development coordinator or a representative capable of urban design built form controls; and a city-commissioned electrical engineer.
Also part of the body are the city councilors who head the committees on Energy, Transportation, Communication, and Other Utilities; Urban Planning and Development; and Public Works, or it may also be their representatives.
Private firms Visayan Electric Company; PLDT-SMART; Globe-Islacom; and Sky Cable Inc. will also need to send their representatives.
Moreover, the city government is also taking into account the wide range and scope covered by the ordinance and the expected technical and financial requirements to be incurred by the utility firms.
That is why the city formulated a strategy for a rationalized implementation that will be carried on in stages – particularly in short, medium, and long term objectives – specifying the targets to be accomplished within the phased program of implementation.
According to the city ordinance, the first phase (short-term objective) or the initial transition period involves the promotion of the rehabilitation and installation or restoration of utility lines within a three-year period upon the approval of the ordinance.
The second phase (medium-term objective) or the second transition period focuses on the promotion of the partial implementation for underground installation of utility lines to be undertaken within a year after the approval of the ordinance.
The third phase (long-term objective), which also takes on three years after the approval of the ordinance, requires owners or operators to follow the mandatory grounding of all utility lines.
Once the owner fails to comply with the provisions, they may be fined with at least P5,000 or penalized for the revocation or cancellation of local permits. If a corporation or partnership violates the policies, the president or the general manager will be held liable. — GAN (FREEMAN)