Solon wants telecom, power lines typhoon-proof

MANILA A lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Thursday called on the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to install all power, communication, and television lines underground to protect them from damage during typhoons.

Leyte District Rep. Henry Ong made the call on the 5th anniversary of the Philippines' deadliest recorded typhoon, "Yolanda".

Ong said underground cabling could prevent or minimize blackouts and make it typhoon-resistant.

"The only place where those cables will be protected versus typhoons and floods is underground. We must start doing this in 2019 and onwards as a climate change adaptation and disaster mitigation program, in response to the fact that much of our country is in the path of and is battered by storms all year," Ong said.

Ong said this move would require massive investments and meticulous planning by both the power and telecommunications sectors.

He said underground cabling is already underway in Davao City, and could also be done gradually starting with typhoon-prone areas such as, Eastern Visayas, Bicol, northeastern Mindanao, and the eastern seaboard of Luzon.

"It is time we accept our fate as a typhoon-stricken country. Lagi na lang tayong binabayo ng bagyo, nagbabagsakan ng poste, at nalalagutan ng kable. Yung ibang pa bagyo ay sing-lakas pa ng bagong Yolanda. Ito ang mabisa at pangmatagalang solusyon (We are often struck by typhoons with electricity poles and wires suffering damage that cut supply. I think this [underground cabling] is the long-term solution)," he said.

Super typhoon Yolanda struck central Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013 and damaged 175 cities and municipalities in 14 provinces in six regions. The disaster killed more than 6,000 people.

Total cost of damage and losses in Yolanda-affected areas reached PHP101.79 billion, of which PHP48.79 billion was in Eastern Visayas. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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