THE Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) yesterday said the post and cable that fell in Barangay Tinago, Cebu City and caused the death of a 13-year-old boy and injuring two other kids belong to Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT).
Lawyer Jill H. Verallo, Veco reputation enhancement department head, said the power utility firm will give financial assistance to families of the victims not because they are at fault but for out of pity and sympathy.
Verallo said there is no agreement among utilities that Veco will respond to emergencies involving the facilities of other utilities unless it affects a Veco facility.
She said Veco posts can withstand a 250-kph (kilometer per hour) wind. Veco posts can hardly be affected even by a strong typhoon.
Under the law, Verallo said, the standard vertical clearance for secondary lines from ground to wire is only 16 feet, but Veco’s vertical clearance is 22 feet high.
She said that with proper maintenance and correct installation, cable wires will not sag.
“Veco has only two wires and it should not intertwine with each other. The location of a Veco wire is above all the cable wires,” Verallo said.
On the other hand, Elmer “Bong” Lintag, PLDT head of operations for Cebu, Bohol, Samar and Leyte, said that while PLDT installed the post, both PLDT and Veco owned it under the “Joint Pole Ownership Agreement.”
Lintag said that Veco and PLDT have cable wires on the post – fiber optic cable for Veco and copper cable for PLDT.
He said that because Globe Telecom and Skycable are also using the post for their cable connections, they paid rents that are shared by Veco and PLDT.
“But the public must know that the real culprit of the incident is the truck van that hit the cables that caused the post to fall. The problem is that the truck driver escaped. This is a case of hit and run. Ma-karma din ang driver na ‘yon,” Lintag said.
Lintag said that PLDT is giving financial assistance to the families of the victims. He said Globe is also willing to give.
“The damage to our post and cables is only secondary because our priority is the life of the people,” Lintag said.
He said they are coordinating with Tinago Barangay Captain Joel Garganera for the burial of the fatality and the hospital expenses of the one in the hospital.