PLDT plans own P5 million underground cable project

Posted on September 20, 2012

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After the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) announced it would bury its overhead power lines under the ground starting this year with Osmena Boulevard in Cebu City, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company said it planned to do so as well.

Bong Lintag, Cebu chief of operations of PLDT, said a plan for the underground cabling was sent to their head office in Manila for approval.

“We would like to do it with Veco and join the bidding (for the contracted work) with them but we still have to secure approval from the head office. I heard that Veco will start soon,” Lintag said.

Lintag said the project cost could exceed P5 million for PLDT and that they want to start as soon as possible.

“We initially targeted to have it within the year but I think it will proceed next year,” Lintag said.

Globe Telecom’s communications manager Yoli Crisanto declined to comment, saying she still has to meet with their officials in Cebu about it.

A 2011 Cebu City ordinance mandates all utility companies to transfer their overhead wires underground.

A 10-year grace period was given to implement it.

With the tenth year of the deadline ending in 2013, Veco filed an application with the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) to undertake its Osmena Boulevard Underground Installation Project at a cost of P205 millon.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama separately wrote Veco asking them to prioritize Osmeña Boulevard.

Cebu Business Club president Gordon Alan Joseph welcomed the move, saying it was long overdue.

“It should become a building code standard. Veco should be congratulated for their spirit of volunteerism,” Joseph said.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Philip N. Tan agreed, saying it would contribute to Cebu tourism and was a good step towards transforming Cebu City as one of the best in the world.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Prudencio Gesta said the change would improve Cebu’s value as a tourist destination because spaghetti wires atop utility poles were an eyesore.

He cited the Ayala-developed IT Park as a good example of underground cabling.

“You can’t see any tangled wires, which makes the place more beautiful and safe,” said Gesta.

Veco’s underground cabling project will start in the fourth quarter of the year and roll out in two phases.

Phase 1a in 2013 will cover both sides of the boulevard from the Provincial Capitol to Fuente Osmeña. Phase 1 b in 2014 will extend from Fuente Osmeña to P. del Rosario Avenue.

The company will transfer its wires underground and remove all its posts along the longest road of Cebu City.

Veco chief of operating officer and senior vice president Sebastian Lacson, said the commitment was made by Veco executive vice president Jaime Aboitiz.

He said they’re only awaiting approval from the ERC. /Aileen Garcia-Yap, Reporter

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