Private firm offers to address overhead wires in Cebu City

OVERHEAD wires from telecommunications companies (telcos) have become eyesores and serious threats to public health and safety in Cebu City.

However, a private firm has come up with an unsolicited proposal so the wires can be moved underground.

Councilor Jerry Guardo, committee on infrastructure chairman, said a representative from Pivotal Adaptive Services, which is based in the United States, and Metroworks visited the mayor last week to express their intention to implement the project in the city.

"This is in line with the direction of Mayor Michael Rama for the Singapore-like Cebu City and in order for us to achieve that standard, our overhead wires must be installed underground because if you roam around the city it is very untidy," he said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

Guardo, who was present during the meeting, said Rama is interested in the project since it will be implemented at no cost to the City Government.

"That was a timely discussion last week with the company from the US who has the expertise for the said project because they have modern technology and I think they’re going to put up a consortium with a local company who has also a track record for doing a smart city like in Clark, Pangasinan and Bonifacio Global City in Taguig," he said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

Guardo, who is also the technical infrastructure committee chairman of the mayor’s office, said the private firm will formally submit the unsolicited proposal in the early part of 2023.

If the Joint Venture Selection Committee (JVSC) approves it, it will be published in the newspaper. The JVSC will then give the project the go-signal if there are no counter offers and the private firm can request the approval of the City Council.

Based on what Guardo initially learned, the private firm will create the infrastructure for the telcos so they can place their wires underground.

He said the private firm and the telcos will agree on a payment and they will also sign a memorandum of agreement with the City Government regarding their obligations to the latter.

In the meantime, the councilor said he does not know how much the project will cost and when it will be completed, adding that the details will be known once the private firm submits its unsolicited proposal. (PAC/PJB)