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PIA Press Release

Transco partners with volunteers to stop transmission line theft

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (14 December) -- The National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) has sustained its partnership with volunteer groups to undertake measures to control transmission line theft.

TransCo southeastern Mindanao area corporate communication officer Milfrance Capulong said the Bantay Linya Brigada program was organized to harness community participation in protection the lines.

The Mindanao are she said has also partnered with Task Force Media for Clean and Safe Power Lines (MeCSPol) with chapters in every district for advocacy work. It also coordinates with the police in conducting continuous information campaign and surveillance of junk shops that became drop-off and pick-up points of pilfered transmission line materials.

In Luzon area Capulong said five tons of steel tower materials was confiscated after the police and TransCo security personnel raided a junk shop in Barangay Banga in Plaridel, Bulacan. The confiscated items were identified as TransCo properties through the serial numbers engraved on them.

The junk shop owner she said is now facing charges in violation of RA 7832 or the "Anti-Electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994".

In another development, TransCo has appealed to local government and barangay officials in typhoon-ravaged areas in the Bicol Region to help the state-owned corporation hasten the restoration of electricity in the areas by protecting the fallen transmission line cables, tower parts and transmission line materials from looters.

TransCo president Arthur Aguilar said the firm is doing all it can to speed up the restoration of transmission line.

"But the work is hampered severely when linemen rushing to repair the lines will find that transmission line materials are missing," he said.

He said to hasten power restoration they have reinforced transmission line teams in South Luzon and with those from North Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

"We hope that our cables, tower parts, insulators especially those now lying on the ground will not be stolen so that power restoration will not suffer undue delays," Aguilar said.

TransCo reported that on December 1, a day after super typhoon Reming hit the Bicol Region, a company helicopter patrol spotted and caught on videotape three suspected looters atop a steel tower in Pili, Camarines Sur. The patrol also saw another group of suspected looters in waste-deep waters "working" on a collapsed TransCo steel tower in Minalabac, Camarines Sur. (PIA XI) [top]

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