Utility firms required to color-code wires

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ALL utility lines in Cebu City will soon be color-coded to prevent indiscriminate installation.

The requirement is in line with a new measure the City Council approved on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.

The Mandatory Utility Line Color-Coding Identification System was authored by City Councilor Nestor Archival. It will take effect three months after publication in a newspaper of local circulation.

Under the ordinance, utility companies have 14 months to comply with provisions. Otherwise, they can face a fine of not more than P5,000 and suspension of permit for not less than six months.

For the existing utility lines, they will have to identified, segregated and improved.

A Utility Lines Installation Coordination Committee (Ulicc) will conduct an inventory of all existing wires and identify where they are located and who are their owners. Active wires will remain in place, but inactive ones will be removed.

Utility companies that wish to install new cable wires must meet these requirements:

* Notification to the post owner and the Ulicc 15 days prior to the installation;

* the cable owner is only allowed to use approved color-coordinated wires;

* the cable owner needs to submit a report to the post owner and Ulicc five days from the completion of installation; and

* the Ulicc also has to update immediately the Utility Line Implementation Plan for inventory purposes.

The new measure also conforms to provisions of City Ordinance 1618, or the ordinance creating the Ulicc as a sub-committee of the Technical Infrastructure Committee, as well as City Ordinance 1894, which requires all public utilities to transfer their overhead utility cables underground.

Archival said the identification of the wires is the immediate solution to the indiscriminate installation of wires in the city, which often results in spaghetti wires. (JJL)