By Yas Ocampo
DAVAO CITY — The Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC) expects the first phase of the city’s underground cabling project to be completed by November this year.
Rossano Luga, assistant vice president for reputation enhancement of the DLPC, told Manila Bulletin in an interview that the inter-agency operation of digging the roads to migrate overhead wires involves various agencies, not only the power utility.
The underground cabling is a requirement by the city government to pole users after an ordinance was passed in 2017.
Ordinance No. 0152 series of 2017 requires users of the poles in specified streets in the city to migrate their wires into an underground cabling system, with threats of penalties if they refuse.
The ordinance was passed after a successful pilot underground system in 2016 around the government center along Magallanes, Washington, and San Pedro Streets.
The current phase involves around one kilometer of cables being migrated along CM Recto Street, starting from the junction of San Pedro Street towards R. Magsaysay Avenue.
Phase 2 begins in 2018, from San Pedro Street towards Quirino Avenue while another schedule of underground cabling has been set along R. Magsaysay from CM Recto towards Magsaysay Park, with work to be done on around 1,400 meters of road each.
In 2019, Phase 3 will cover works from the Roxas Rotunda towards San Pedro Street.
The last phase, Phase 4, is scheduled in 2020, from San Pedro Street corner Quirino towards the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Road blockage because of the work has been minimal as the contractor only does the cabling from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day, Luga said.
Once the project is complete, most of the city’s main downtown streets, particularly the parade routes during the Kadayawan Festival and Araw ng Dabaw, will have wires from overhead wires.
The technology allows the wires to be buried safely underground, with users to have access to the wires by connecting through ports nearer to the ground instead of overhead.
The Southern Philippines Medical Center has recorded an increase in electrocutions because of overhead wires.