Unimpeded power supply in disasters? Solon pushes for underground cable system
MANILA, Philippines — In view of power outages following the eruption of Taal Volcano, a party-list lawmaker called anew for the passage of a bill on nationwide underground cable system.
Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy made the call as she underscored the importance of continuous power supply in helping communities affected by calamities bounce back more efficiently.
Herrera-Dy said that Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, Cebu City, and Baguio City have taken the first steps toward placing their utility cables underground.
“Metro Manila and surrounding highly-urbanized areas, it seems, have not realized they are being left behind by more progressive governance elsewhere,” Herrera-Dy said in a statement.
“With the Taal Volcano eruption, Metro Manila, Tagaytay City, Lipa City, and Batangas City now have more reason to bury those cables underground,” she added.
The local government units (LGUs), Herrera-Dy said, can enact local ordinances and need not wait for the national government to enact a law.
“The cities can bid out or invite private investors to lay the cables underground. In biddings, they would use LGU-generated funds. If they invite private investors, investors’ funds would be used,” the lawmaker said.
“Simply put, the LGUs can do the job faster, with a bit of help from the national government,” she added.
Under the bill
The proposed bill mandates all companies, service providers, industries, and other similar entities that use wires and/or cables, especially those that are engaged in business of providing telephone cable, internet services and port supply to the public, to relocate and/or install their wire cable system underground.
“In HB 5845, I propose that the private sector bear the full cost of the underground cable system because the annual budget cannot bear that burden,” Herrera-Dy said.
“For government to do it, there has to be affordable foreign financing from multiple sources and possibly, the issuance of bonds—bonds like the reconstruction bonds issued after the Luzon earthquake of July 1991,” she added.
The process of underground cabling, Herrera-Dy said, can be done in phases for a 10-year period.
“Not only is underground cabling more secure from volcanic ash, strong winds, and floods, it would also enhance the architectural beauty of cities and towns, make them more livable environments,” the lawmaker said.
Edited by JPV
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.