Falling poles, tangled wires in Cebu: Enough, councilor says

AFTER a falling post hit two women in Barangay Apas last Saturday, a Cebu City councilor decided to propose the creation of a group that will focus on fixing dangling wires and removing defective poles.

“There is already an existing ordinance on the matter but it seems like these telecommunication companies are neglecting this,” Councilor Nestor Archival Sr. said. “Now we will make the move.”

The proposed task group will be part of the amendments to City Ordinance 1894 that he will raise before the council, Archival said.

He will propose that while the City has taken the initiative to create the task group, telecommunication companies will shoulder the salaries of personnel in it.

City Hall can hire or outsource these personnel or ask the existing crew from the street lighting division of the City’s Department of Public Services.

The councilor also wants to propose increasing the penalties on companies that fail to comply with the ordinance.

“Dugay nata sige’g hangyo nila to comply (We’ve been asking them for a long time to comply), but they are so insensitive,” Archival said. He is set to submit the proposed amendments next week.

An executive session with all the utility firms is also scheduled on Aug. 5 to allow them to update the City on underground cabling activities they have initiated, so far.

Mayor Michael Rama said he is supportive of the plan.

“It’s a challenge for the majority in the Council to push for the measure,” he said.

Rama also tasked the City Legal Office to assist the families of Irene Bordon, 54, and Bella Bingala, 52, who were hit by a post that fell on Cebu Veterans’ Drive in Barangay Apas after a boom truck got snagged by some wires last Saturday.

“The City can take legal actions against those who are responsible for the incident, on the family’s behalf,” he said.

Bingala was hospitalized after the post hit her head and knocked her out. Bingala has cuts in her hands.

It was the second time in 10 days that a post allegedly owned by the telecommunication company hit someone on the road.

Last week, a 13-year-old boy was killed and two young girls suffered injuries when a post fell on McArthur Blvd. in Barangay Tinago.

As of yesterday, City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) operations chief Jonathan Tumulak said that Bingala’s family members have yet to go to their office to file a complaint against the driver and truck operator.

Citom, which is investigating the matter, has taken both the driver and the vehicle under its custody.
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