Underground cabling in city’s downtown to start in April

MORE Power personnel conduct line maintenance works in Mandurriao, Iloilo City. The distribution firm will start underground cabling works in some parts of the city next month.

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

A top official of MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power) official on Thursday confirmed that the undergrounding of electric and other utility cables in Iloilo City’s historic downtown area is set to begin in April 2023.

Engineer Bailey Del Castillo, Vice President for Network Development and Operations Group, told Radyo Pilipinas Iloilo that they have just finished the topographic survey in coordination with the Iloilo City Government and other present utility providers in the city.

Data from the said survey will be used for the bidding process, where they will select the firm which will undertake the drilling and undergrounding activities.

“We need to determine, on that [topographic] survey what are the boundaries [and] the locations of existing drainage because [Iloilo City] is an old city, [and] there are many existing drainage pipes and buildings, so we need to determine first so that we wouldn’t damage them during the drilling process,” Del Castillo explained.

He said they are expecting to get all the data this week and start and end the bidding process within the month for actual work to start in April.

Del Castillo cited City Regulation Ordinance (CRO) No. 2023-006, which mandates all public electric, telecommunications, and other related utility entities to place all cables underground in all plaza complexes, the Sunburst Park, Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue (Diversion Road), and all heritage sites in the city.

“Our priority, based on [CRO No. 2023-006], is to convert all overhead wires along J.M. Basa Street or Calle Real. That will start from the corner of Plaza Libertad all the way to the corner of Guanco Street. That’s the priority area,” he described.

“We will transfer all the wires within the vicinity of the plaza[s], and that will become clear very later. Some of the wires will be transferred across the street, and what we will put underground are the service connections that will go to the plaza[s],” he added.

Under CRO No. 2023-006, MORE Power will shoulder all costs of the underground placement, which will be charged to consumers for ₱0.001 per kilowatt hour over the next 30 years.

Del Castillo said that they have already approved a total of ₱96 million for all activities in relation to the placement, to be done within 240 days or around 8 calendar months from the effectivity of the ordinance.

The ordinance’s proponent, Councilor Romel Duron, said that this had already been agreed upon not just by MORE Power, but also by telecommunications companies including Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, DITO, and other utilities using overhead cable wiring set-ups in the city.


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