Thieves have stolen traffic light wires in Cebu City’s intersections

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014


ELECTRIC wires from traffic lights in two major intersections in Cebu City have been stolen.

The wires are reportedly worth an estimated P500,000.

This prompted the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) to seek help from the Police Coordinating and Advisory Council (PCAC) and urged barangays and the public to help them secure the more than 100 traffic lights in the city.

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In an interview yesterday, Citom operations division chief Joy Tumulak said 100 meters of wire that support traffic light on S. Osmeña Blvd. corner J. Luna Ave. were stolen last Aug. 12.

By Aug. 20, Tumulak said 200 meters of wire were stolen at the traffic light on S. Osmeña Blvd. corner Maxilom Ave.

‘Suspects’

Citom, he said, has received reports that three to five men were responsible for the theft.

A security guard of the ongoing road concreting by the Department of Public Works and Highways at the stretch of S. Osmeña Blvd. allegedly saw them.

Tumulak believes the stolen wires were sold to the nearby junk shops because these are expensive.

Fifteen years ago, the wires already cost P1,320 per meter, he said.

Asked if the traffic lights have been repaired, Tumulak said the one on S. Osmeña Blvd. corner
J. Luna Ave. was fixed on the same day it lost its wires.

However, the traffic light on S. Osmeña Blvd. corner Gen. Maxilom Ave. is still not functioning because it was damaged.

“Giguba man gyud nila ang (They destroyed the) control box sa (of) traffic light, including the devices inside,” he said.

To ensure smooth traffic flow, Tumulak said Citom has deployed a traffic enforcer in the area.

“Pero delikado gihapon kung way (It’s still dangerous without a) traffic light kay wa man nay (because there’s no) Citom enforcer from 10 p.m. up to 5 a.m.,” he added.

Group effort

To prevent the same incident form happening, Tumulak sought the help of PCAC, whose members include the Cebu City Police Office, to apprehend the wire thieves.

He is also asking the help of the barangay tanods and the public to look after the traffic lights.

“The installation of the traffic lights was paid by our taxes. These are our property so I am pleading for your help,” he said.

PCAC chairperson Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, in a separate interview yesterday, said he will meet with officials of Barangays Mabolo, Tejero, Carreta, Tinago and San Roque and the police so they can come up with a plan of action against wire pilferage.

He also asking the police and barangays to inspect junk shops in the vicinity to see if the wires were sold there.

Labella said junk shop owners should be reminded that they should not buy stolen wires as they may be held liable under Presidential Decree 1612, or the Anti-Fencing Law.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 28, 2014.

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