Electrical safety, electrical pilferage, and emergency response guidelines compose the topics that are being cascaded by VECO during its “pulong-pulong” or townhall meetings, in the different barangays of Cebu City. The Barangay Pulong-pulong is an an ongoing awareness campaign that seeks to educate its customers and the general public about safer and wiser consumption of electricity.
“This pulong-pulong is beneficial to the public because we are the consumers. We need to know where to report unfortunate incidents linked to wirings, electricity meters, and the electrical posts that are present in our community,” said Aida Montańez, a 55-year-old barangay worker of Upper Toralba, Brgy Apas.
Streetlight and Pole Utilities supervisor Ulysses Ańasco talked about VECO’s emergency response guidelines. His topic touches on an important aspect of safety awareness. Last year, a young boy and resident of Brgy. Tinago died after being caught in the sagging wires of a telecommunication company.
“There is already an agreement between VECO and other telecommunication companies on how to address accidents involving sagging wires and redundant electrical posts. Our emergency response teams can now touch on those even if we do not own them,” he said.
Revenue Protection Department Supervisor Glenn Torrejos urged the barangay workers, especially the tanods to report illegal wire connections because these are the usual causes of fire incidents. Meter tampering, illegal tapping, and the theft of electric power transmission lines and materials are punishable under Republic Act 7832 or the “Anti-pilferage law”. Those who are found guilty of electric pilferage can be penalized by 6 to 12 years’ imprisonment excluding the payment of the stolen electricity and the surcharge of up to 100 percent.
As of press time, VECO has completed the rounds in 20 barangays. They target to visit 80 barangays by the end of the year.