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VECO On Campaign For Electricity Awareness
June 08, 2016
Electrical safety, electrical pilferage, and emergency response guidelines were among the topics discussed by officials of the Visayan Electric Company (VECO) during its “pulong-pulong” in different barangays of Cebu City this month.The activity is an awareness campaign for consumers to be informed about electricity-related concerns such as preventing accidents, the consequences of electricity theft, and VECO’s emergency response teams.Last week, barangay workers of barangays Apas, Cogon Pardo and Day-as were gathered by VECO in different venues for awareness lectures involving these during their pulong-pulong activity.Aida Montańez, a 55-year-old barangay worker of Upper Toralba, Brgy Apas, said she was thankful to VECO for coming up with the activity, saying it increases her knowledge on how to prevent accidents.“This pulong-pulong of VECO is beneficial to the public because we are the consumers. We need to know where to report unfortunate incidents linked to wirings, electricity meters, and the electrical posts that are present in our community," Montańez said.VECO’s Streetlight and Pole Utilities supervisor Ulysses Ańasco also discussed about the emergency response guidelines of the utility.He said that VECO has incorporated this topic in its pulong-pulong after the accident in Barangay Tinago last year involving the sagging wires of a telecommunication company in the city that caused the death of a young boy.“There is already an agreement between VECO and other telecommunication companies on how to address accidents involving sagging wires and redundant electrical posts. Our emergency response teams can now touch on those even if we do not own them," he said.Anasco emphasized the need for cooperation from the community for them to effectively implement the duty.As to electricity pilferage, VECO’s Revenue Protection Department Supervisor Glenn Torrejos urged the barangay workers present during the pulong-pulong to help prevent the proliferation of electricity theft.Illegal use of electricity such as meter tampering and illegal tapping and the theft of electric power transmission lines and materials are punishable under Republic Act 7832 or the “Anti-pilferage law”. Those who are found guilty of electric pilferage, he says, will suffer the penalty of six to 12 years’ imprisonment excluding the payment of the stolen electricity and the surcharge of up to 100 percent.“I’ve learned about electrical pilferage, which is one of the many causes of fire. Also, that we should report incidents like abrupt changes in our electricity bills because there might be something wrong with the meter," Montanez commented in Cebuano. She plans to share the knowledge to her family and neighbors.“We in VECO want to reach our consumers. The most important thing in this pulong pulong is for them to know that VECO has strengthened its crews in terms of acting on complaints," Torrejos said. He urged the barangay workers especially the tanods to report electricity-related incidents especially illegal wire connections in their areas because these are often causes of fire alarms.As to electrical safety operations, VECO’s Occupational Safety Security Health and Environment safety officer Ernesto Samonte, Jr. taught the barangay workers on how to identify VECO lines. This will help consumers report problems more accurately.As of now, at least 20 out of 80 barangays in Cebu City have already undergone the “pulong-pulong” information dissemination of VECO.The company is targeting to finish the pulong-pulong in Cebu City this year, adding that they will soon venture to other local government units within its franchise.VECO serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga and four municipalities of the greater part of Metro Cebu - Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla and San Fernando.