Mayor alarmed by pole fires

By: Jennifer P. Rendon 

CITING his moral obligation to the people of Iloilo City, Mayor Jerry Treñas has acted on the “mounting” complaints against Panay Electric Company (PECO).

Treñas confirmed that he wrote the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the Presidential Complaint Center (PCC) to refer complaints about PECO’s supposed inadequately-maintained lines, power outages, and hazardous electric posts.

He confirmed that he wrote to the two agencies several days after he confirmed the series of fires that hit electric utility poles of PECO.

Treñas said PECO’s attention has been called in the past but the city is still experiencing the same problem.

He noted that last week, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-Iloilo City responded to four fire incidents involving PECO’s electric poles.

Treñas said he was alarmed of several fires that broke out which might be attributed to poorly-maintained PECO facilities.

By forwarding the complaints to ERC, Treñas believes that the regulatory body has the hand to act on the matter.

PCC, a front line desk in the Office of the President that serves as a liaison unit with various departments and agencies of the Government and private institutions/companies on all requests for assistance and information, as well as complaints and grievances of the general public, could also look into the matter.

Records from BFP-Iloilo City indicated that 200 pole fires occurred in the city from Jan. 1 to Oct. 25, 2019.

In 2018, the BFP recorded 233 pole fire incidents.

The BFP data also included 112 structural fires, 74 grass fires, 37 rubbish fires, and 7 vehicular fires.