Davao Light reports over 2,600 poles relocated since 2017

Davao Light reports over 2,600 poles relocated since 2017
Davao Light

THE Davao Light and Power Company (Davao Light) reported that they have relocated around 2,667 poles since 2017, as the Department of Public Works and Highways-Davao Region (DPWH-Davao) requested.

Allan Villaver, Davao Light project supervisor, said in his report to the 20th Council on Tuesday, April 17, 2024 at the Sangguniang Panlungsod, that around 5,786 poles were affected. Of that number, 2,667 are already done, 371 are ongoing, 1,506 are yet to be started, and 943 are not applicable for relocation.

However, Davao City First District Councilor Nilo "Small" Abellera, Jr. expressed that there is a discrepancy between Davao Light and DPWH-Davao’s data. He said that DPWH-Davao claimed that Davao Light, since 2017, has only relocated 90 poles.

“Since 2017, 90 poles ang inyung na lipat out of 1,083 kung baga meron pang 993 base sa kanilang data na hindi niyo pa nalilipat (Since 2017, you have only relocated around 90 out of the 1,083 based on their data [DPWH-Davao] there are still 993 remaining poles that have yet to be transferred),” he said. 

Villaver replied that their data includes the overall requests from the barangay, city, DPWH district, and DPWH regional office. He said that the data from DPWH-Davao only included the request from the regional office. 

Delay in the relocation of poles

Villaver said that the delay in pole relocation is caused by several factors such as the road right of way (RROW) and turning off electrical connection. 

“May mga scheduled interruption kami, bawal kasi kaming magpatay ng ilaw natin, diba magagalit ang Dabawenyos kung every week magpapatay tayo. Ang ano kasi namin pag interruption namin dapat naka-scheduled (There are scheduled interruptions because we are not allowed to turn off electrical connection because Dabawenyos would be mad if we will have interruptions every week. In the company the interruption should be scheduled),” he said.

Villaver shared that it takes them about two to four hours to relocate a secondary pole and four to six hours for a primary pole. He said that for Davao City, they can only turn off the electricity for up to four hours. 

He emphasized that if there were no issues with the electricity and RROW, they would be able to finish relocating the poles within the year. He also explained that some lot owners will only let them transfer the pole once the RROW is settled.

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Melchor Quitain raised concerns about the poles that were not relocated along the Blue Lotus Hotel going to the Hall of Justice and the leaning poles around Marfori Heights. He said that they pose great risks for drivers and pedestrians in the area. 

“Ang aking personal concern is diyan sa may Blue Lotus baka pwedeng pagbalik wala naman sigurong road right of way issue tapos na eh… dapat mawala na yan pati sa Marfori – dapat within the month siguro yan (My personal concern is around Blue Lotus, maybe there are no road right of way issues since the construction has already finished… the poles should be gone this includes the poles in Marfori – maybe within the month),” he said.

Lack of coordination?

Meanwhile, First District Councilor Edgar P. Ibuyan Jr. said that the data provided by the Davao Light should be those poles that were already transferred, not the newly proposed request. 

Ang i-report mo dito kasi para hindi tayo maghaba dito ng oras kasi yun yung concern ni Councilor Abellera kasi yung finished na (What you should report here is is the finished projects because that is the concern of Councilor Abellera),” he said.

Abellera said there is a lack of coordination between DLPC and DPWH-Davao because of the data discrepancy and the lack of planning.

“This clearly shows na hindi sila nag-uusap, it clearly shows na wala silang pre-plan na pinag-usapan, wala silang plano for example even this one siguro hindi nila napakinggan ang report last time ng DPWH, that’s why magka-iba sila ng numbers (This clearly shows that they are not communicating with each other, it clearly shows that they didn’t have any pre-plan, they have no plans for example even this one, maybe they did not listen to the report of DPWH last time that is why they have different numbers),” he said. 

Councilor Diosdado Mahipus Jr. said that the council has already passed the pole regulation ordinance and they observed that the perennial problem in pole relocation is the need for coordination between DLPC, telecommunication companies, and government offices. 

“They are having difficulty in harmonizing their plans and courses of action,” he said. 

Mahipus then suggested creating a body that would supervise and monitor all concerns about wire installations and pole regulations in the city. 

The city council will invite the City Engineer's Office, Davao Light, and DPWH to the next council session this April 30. RGP

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