Garcia orders stiff penalties vs. obstructing repair crew

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CHARGES await private individuals or corporations obstructing personnel from telecommunications companies and electric cooperatives from doing their repair works in Cebu Province.

There will be heavy penalties to be imposed by the Provincial Government, according to an executive order issued by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.

Garcia issued Executive Order (EO) No. 1 based on Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

In the EO, private individuals or members of a corporation that harass telecommunication companies and electric cooperatives doing repair work to restore power and communication in the province will face fines of P50,000 to P500,000 and an imprisonment term of six to 12 years.

“Persons currently obstructing or preventing telecommunication companies, electric cooperatives, or their personnel are hereby ordered to immediately cease and desist from doing the same,” the governor’s EO said.

“The public is hereby informed that non-compliance of this order shall merit the filing of the appropriate criminal case against them for the violation of Section 19 or RA 10121 and such other laws herein applicable,” Garcia added.

Among the actions banned by the governor is blocking the entry of “appropriate technology, tools, equipment, accessories, disaster teams or experts,” according to a report from Sugbo News, the news platform of the Cebu Provincial Government.

Telecommunications companies and power firms are still trying to restore lines in the province damaged during the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.

In a report on Jan. 5, 2021 the Visayan Electric Company (Veco) said it has completed the restoration of power supply to 176,679 of 474,182 affected customers, while Cebeco 2 has completed 95 percent reconnection of its franchise area.

Garcia urged the Philippine National Police to enforce her order.

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