The city’s streetlights-A A +A
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
NO ONE would debate the merit behind the move of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to secure more close circuit televisions (CCTVs) and streetlights to further boost its bid to arrest crime.
Led by Police City Director Jesus Cambay Jr., the BCPO has unveiled an ambitious strategy in its “inner ring” and “outer ring” project that would up the ante of crime prevention. The recent approval by the City Council of the BCPO’s intention to acquire for free CCTVs from BENECO is an indication that indeed crime prevention is everyone’s concern. Here, it’s some sort of a public private partnership espoused by the Aquino government but this time on a more localized version. That’s when the police, the city leadership and BENECO forging an unwritten commitment to make all corners of Baguio City safe.
We need not elaborate what this “inner ring” and “outer ring” strategy of the BCPO is all about lest we compromise its target. It’s enough to say that aside from CCTVs, the matrix involves the installation of 28 streetlights in 18 strategic areas of the city. Of course, the electric cooperative, ever committed to help the community, is more than willing to come in and provide the streetlights. This will be at no cost to the city or the BCPO. In short, it’s gratis or a donation.
The city though will have to shoulder the cost of power consumed by the streetlights. Zacarias Torres, the veteran at the Operations and Maintenance Department, told me that the 28 streetlights at 250 watts each will consume an average of 3,195.36 kilowatt hours a month. That’s at 12 burning hours a day. At an average of P8.58 per kilowatt hour, the monthly bill would be P27,758.73.
The Board of Directors has approved the installation of the fixtures and it hopes there would be no kinks once the city will be billed on the energy consumed. After all, the request of the police for streetlights comes on the heels of the agreement between Mayor Mauricio Domogan and the electric cooperative that the latter will again assume the responsibility of operating and maintaining the city’s streetlights.
BENECO’s management has already signed the contract. Now, it goes to the City Council for confirmation and I hope our councilors would find the agreement to their liking. In fact, when the electric cooperative and Domogan agreed in principle that BENECO will be the leg man anew of the city’s streetlights, the utility, by its own initiative, already moved to light up the city’s major areas by the installation of new bulbs and the repair of those already in place. It’s a gamble on the part of the electric cooperative. But its sincerity to restore the city to better lighting was the more rational consideration.
As of December, 2012, the electric cooperative has replaced defective fixtures on 423 streetlights, replaced 659 defective bulbs, installed 642 photo switches and corrected 45 loose connections. It has also attended to 102 clustered metered streetlights in seven major areas in the city. Engr. Rocky Pallogan, the head of OMD, says the cooperative has since been repairing an average of 1021 damaged streetlights a week. Rocky says as of date, the cooperative now manages 7600 unmetered and around 2000 metered streetlights in the city. New bulbs for streetlights cost an average of P3500 each.
Here is an issue the city and the electric cooperative were able to demonstrate that they can agree to. I hope it will be the same perspective for other issues which BENECO never intended to antagonize the city with. I don’t know how the BOD would finally decide on the BCPO’s prayer for CCTVs. The costs are prohibitive but let’s keep our fingers crossed.
In the meantime, let’s stroll down along Session Road. Those streetlights will make our promenade more romantic.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 16, 2013.