Of wires and fires: VECO’s school rewiring project

May 12, 2016

Almost 16 years ago, a fire razed the entire 14-classroom school building of Don Vicente Rama Memorial Elementary School in Basak, Cebu City.

Edgardo Caudia, a Grade 5 teacher, remembers the night of Dec. 20, 2000 when the big fire also ate up their camping and volleyball equipment.

He shares how he rushed to the school that night when he heard the building was on fire.

The damage has been estimated at more than a million pesos but, more than that, Caudia says hundreds of students from the 14 sections of the Grade 5 level were displaced.

Caudia says the tragedy was caused by old wirings that caught fire after a lightning strike hit the old building. This is why he is grateful for the rewiring project that the Visayan Electric Company (VECO) recently did for their school.


Angay mi magpasalamat sa taga-VECO nga gitagaan mi aning rewiring project. Karon, safe na among eskwelahan sa mga sunog.

(We must be thankful to VECO for giving us this rewiring project. Now, our school is safe from fires.

)," Teresita Carlit, another teacher, says. She believes that the safety and maintenance of electrical wirings is very important.

The students also share the same sentiment with Carlit.

Nice Maghanoy, a Grade 6 student, shares that classrooms were a bit dark before this project came to their school.


Maglisod ko ug suwat kay ngitngit among classrooms. Magpawng-pawng pa gyud ang suga.

(I had difficulty writing because our classrooms were dark. Our light bulbs also flicker)," she says.

She adds that now, it is good and comfortable and that she can actually clearly see what she is writing.

Shaira Impal, another student, says that reading inside the classroom is more enjoyable now.


Daghan ug bulb and hayag sab. Makabasa nako ug tarong. Kung duna sab koy pangitaon sa sulod sa classroom, makit-an ra dayon nako kay hayag naman.

(There are many bulbs and it is well lighted. I can now read clearly. And if I'll look for something inside the classroom, I can easily see it because it is already bright)," she says.

Since their Grade 1 years, they had to suffer the school’s dim lighting.

Elsie Colo, the school principal, says that the rewiring project has also helped them save electricity.

With the fluorescent lights before, they consumed a bigger wattage. Their bills, she says, would soar as high as P70,000 a month. Last February, she says it went down to P59,000.


Mas nakatipid mi and pwede namo magamit ang extra money to use it for other purposes like classroom repairs.

(It cost us less and we can use the extra money for other purposes like classroom repairs)," she says.

The rewiring project of VECO was turned over last Feb. 17 in a ceremonial switch-on inside the school's gym.

The company has upgraded the electrical wiring system and installed a total of 1,000 LED lights in the school’s 100 classrooms with a P1.

6 million budget.

The school rewiring project is one of the corporate social responsibility programs of VECO. So far, the company has rewired and added cost-efficient lightings to a total of 57 schools in the cities of Cebu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, City of Naga and the Municipalities of San Fernando, Minglanilla, Consolacion and Liloan.