The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) plans to tap the Philippine National Police (PNP) to strengthen its force in surveillance and monitoring of electric lines against electricity theft.
Information officer Rex Ruta said Friday that PALECO acting general manager (AGM) Engr. Federico Villar, Jr met with City PNP Director Roberto Bucad is to discuss the RA 7832 or anti-pilferage law.
“Napakahalaga ng presensiya ng PNP para masupil natin itong mga nagnanakaw ng kuryente gaya ng illegal tapping, jumpers and even flying connections. Kasi if mayroon talagang nakukulong, namumultahan, ay mas marami ang matatakot na gawin ito,” he said.
“Kawawa naman ang member-consumers natin na nagso-shoulder nitong ninanakaw ng kuryente at pasok rin ito sa sysytem loss ng PALECO, yong mga direktang illegal na nagta-tap sa mismong dinadaanan ng linya natin. Kaya we need to strengthen talaga ng tie-up with PNP para sa pagpapatupad ng batas na ito,” Ruta added.
Villar explained that based on the law, the conduct of anti-pilferage activity must be accompanied by a law enforcer which would mediate between PALECO and suspected pilferers. PALECO will also give honoraria to the law enforcer who will join their activity, he added.
“Initial step pa lang ‘yon, ipi-present ko ‘yan sa board. Magkakaroon lang ng a sort of understanding and agreement ang PNP sa city of Puerto Princesa na from time-to-time mag-conduct ng inspection ng suspected pilferers,” he said.
Villar eyes the signing of the memorandum of understanding “as soon as possible” after presenting the draft to the board of directors. Once signed, the PNP will be part of surveillance, monitoring, and capturing thieves of electric lines.
The electric cooperative stressed strengthening the implementation of the law to provide proper and equal service to the member-consumer owners (MCOs).
“According to other employees na nakakausap ko rito, meron silang partnership (noon) with City PNP kaya lang ito ay parang niri-request lang halimbawa may subpoena sila—doon sila magri-request—itong sa akin ay parang memorandum of understanding—idi-define namin ‘yong gagawin ng PALECO at anong gagawin ng PNP,” he said.
Under RA 7832, also known as the Anti-Electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994, the offenders who will be caught connecting and stealing lines and electricity-related materials will face punishment and penalty.
“Sa ngayon ang system loss ng PALECO ay within the limit naman—so posibleng meron (pilferers) kasi sa dami ng customer ng PALECO—Mas maganda kasi habang nag-i-inspection, meron na rin mga law enforcer,” he said.
After meeting with the city PNP on Friday, PALECO management will set the same discussion with the provincial PNP for the towns covered by the electric cooperative