CCPO to go after ‘contractors’ asking fees for electrification

·3 min read

THE Cebu City police will work closely with the Visayan Electric after a report came out that some of the company’s contractors are asking for large sums of money from customers who want their power restored as soon as possible.

The Visayan Electric has released an advisory that the company is not demanding payment from customers to speed up the restoration of their electricity and that anyone charging them for it should be reported to its office.

Nineteen days after Typhoon Odette, with many residents complaining about the large portion of its franchise area still to be energized, Visayan Electric reiterates its plea to its customers not to pay personnel who offer energization or repair of collapsed poles or downed lines for a fee.

The utility said if customers will have their areas energized on their own, there will be risks of electrocution and fires, tripping of electric lines of other customers, overloading of wires and transformers, and low power quality like low voltage and flickers.

Lt. Col. Wilbert Parilla, deputy city director for operation of the Cebu City Police Office, said they will deploy personnel to barangays to warn the public against such scheme.

“Our advice to them is to avoid falling for this modus operandi. There is no truth to it,” Parilla said.

He said if there are groups of men going to sitios and demanding payment from customers, the public should report them to the nearest police station so that the police can immediately take action.

Those caught will face cases such as extortion, to be filed by the Visayan Electric as this was not authorized by the company.

Meanwhile, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will send an additional 36 linemen and some equipment to Cebu the soonest it can.

This was announced by Mayor Michael Rama after he personally spoke to businessman Manny Pangilinan, chairman of the MVP Group of Companies which owns Meralco.

Rama said if there is no increase in the number of linemen currently working on the power restoration in the city, it will take them up to the end of January 2022 to finish the job.

Rama aims to have all power restored before the Fiesta Señor on Jan. 16.

“They will definitely be adding more linemen from Meralco, as well as equipment and hopefully, it will hit Cebu City. They will also be addressing the whole Cebu or whatever but they will not forget Cebu City,” Rama said.

He said he also spoke to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and President Rodrigo Duterte when they visited Cebu City a week after Odette hit, so as to address the problem.

The mayor said he will prioritize those families most affected by the typhoon and that if the City has enough money, he will give incentives to the linemen of the Visayan Electric and the power utilities, just like how the Province of Cebu gave the P5,000 incentive.

As of 12 p.m. of Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, Visayan Electric Company had energized 159,737 or nearly 34 percent of the 474,182 affected customers in its franchise area.

Additional energized areas on Tuesday were from the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay and the municipality of San Fernando. (AYB, PAC / CCP with PR)

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