THE Visayan Electric Company (Veco) will implement another underground power line project on Osmeña Blvd. in Cebu City to get rid of electric poles and wires.

The firm implemented its first underground power distribution system from Fuente Circle to the Provincial Capitol last year at a cost of P80 million.

This year, it will implement Phase 1B from Fuente Circle to P. del Rosario St. at a cost of P100 million.

After the second phase, the project will continue every year until all power connections are transferred underground, said then Veco senior vice president and chief operations officer Sebastian Lacson.

Once fully realized, Lacson said, power distribution can continue even at the height of a typhoon.

Atty. Jill Verallo, chief of Veco’s reputation enhancement division, said Veco power lines are placed higher than the standard height required by law, so its lines are not part of the spaghetti wires the public has been complaining about.

Perennial problem

In Consolacion, Mayor Teresa Alegado said, spaghetti wires are a perennial problem, prompting her to order the municipal engineer in jest to cut them all.

“The problem of these telephone and cable companies is that they can easily cut off the connections of subscribers who fail to pay (for two months) and will not cut their wires even if these are already sagging and have endangered the life of the people,” Alegado said.

On the other hand, Cebu City Engineer Jose Marie Poblete, who heads the Office of the Building Official, said they are the ones blamed whenever a post falls.

“OBO is for building only and not for power lines. However, the people are calling us every time a post is falling. We suggest a citywide cleanup of spaghetti wires,” Poblete said.

Louie Collera, Veco manager for power system design, said their poles, which are installed in accordance with the law, can even withstand a 250-kilometer per hour typhoon.

On the other hand, Verallo said they met officials of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Inc. and discussed how the telecommunication company (telco) can improve its contract with Veco.

“It’s sad that if a post falls, (even if it is owned by a telco), the public will think it is owned by Veco,” Verallo said.