Group steals P300,000-worth of cables, paralyzes telecommunication lines in DavNor

By
June 27 2013

Manalop said the incident has been causing inconvenience to their 250 business and residential subscribers as telecommunication lines were paralyzed.  Government offices, schools and business establishments, he added, have been asking for a speedy resolution.

By MART D. SAMBALUD
Davao Today

STO.TOMAS, Davao del Norte, Philippines – An “organized group” is behind the series of stealing cable wires and line facilities already worth PHP 300,000 from the local company Philippine Global Communication (Philcom) here.

This was according to Albert Manalop, Customer Service Officer of Philcom, a subsidiary of telecommunication giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company.

Manalop, in an interview by davaotoday.com, alleged that the cable thieves are part of a group operating in other areas in Mindanao and are believed to be “contractors” or those who work for other people.

Ramil Camillo, Outside Plant Technician, said they documented three cases in the second quarter of this year alone.

On June 15, a 32-meter cable was stolen in a post adjacent the Temple Christian School at Feeder Road #3, in Tibal-og village.  On June 4, another 30-meter cable was stolen in a post beside the Enterprise Bank along the National Highway.  And on May 20, a 30-meter cable was stolen from a communication post at Cadena de Amor Street in Feeder Road #3.

“They were able to steal 400 pairs of copper cable from us and if we would translate that to figures, it costs 300,000 pesos.  That amount is a serious loss to our company,” Camillo lamented.

The suspects, he added, usually do the crime at past midnight, equipped with ladders, cutting tools and a getaway vehicle.

He explained that wires with length of 30 meters are usually cut from the post after which, it will be burned to reveal the copper.  The copper is then sold to the scrap market at about PHP 300 per kilo.  A meter of cable that can accommodate 100 lines, he added, generally yields a kilo of copper.

Manalop said the incident has been causing inconvenience to their 250 business and residential subscribers as telecommunication lines were paralyzed.  Government offices, schools and business establishments, he added, have been asking for a speedy resolution.

PLDT-Philcom it is the only telecommunication service provider in this town that offers call and internet services.  It already coordinated with local authorities to investigate the crime.

“We are working heavily to restore the communication lines and we hoped the thieves will be apprehended,” Camillo said.  (Mart D. Sambalud/davaotoday.com)

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