ALARMED at the drastic increase in water meter theft incidence in 2022, the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) is asking the police and the community for help in identifying these meter thieves as well as the buyers of stolen meters.

From January 1 to May 20, 2022, a total of 488 meters were reported stolen. This number is already 222 percent of the total number of stolen meters for the whole year of 2021 which is only 219.

The MCWD Board of Directors has ordered the Legal Department to design an action plan and coordinate with the Philippine National Police in order to arrest the thieves and fences.

The water district is also asking the public to be vigilant and to report any case of water meter theft that they know of by calling MCWD’s Call Center at 254-8434 local 0 or through our Facebook page Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) and Messenger.

Of the total 488 cases, 253 occurred in Cebu City; 80 in Lapulapu City; 67 in Talisay City; 55 in Mandaue City; 22 in Compostela; seven in Liloan, three in Cordova and one in Consolacion.

Talisay City Police Station has already sent personnel to MCWD to ask for more information about meter theft and assured that they will investigate the matter.

If a water meter is stolen, the consumer’s water service is automatically interrupted as the meter connects the stub-out to the service line leading to house.

It also poses the risk of water contamination as the line is already open once the water meter is removed.

To request for replacement for a stolen water, the consumer has to report the incident to the police station and ask for a police report before visiting the MCWD One-Stop Shop.

In order to identify and put to jail water meter thieves and buyers, the MCWD is offering a cash reward to those who can give information that would lead to their arrest.

A reward of P10,000 is given to anyone who can help in the arrest and prosecution of meter thieves and buyers of stolen water meters or a fence.

The Anti-Fencing Law of 1979 defines fencing as the act of any person, who with intent to gain for himself or for another, of buying, possessing, keeping, acquiring, concealing, selling or disposing of, or in any other manner deal any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of a crime of robbery or theft.

Fencing is punishable by prision mayor or prision correccional depending on the value of the property involved. (PR)