Benjamin Abalos

Malacanang area, 667 other locations with ‘spaghetti’ wires identified

August 17, 2023 Joel dela Torre 170 views

THE Bureau of Fire Protection – National Capital Region (BFP-NCR) has identified 668 locations in different barangays in the city including the Malacanang area with “spaghetti” wirings and other dangling electrical obstructions.

Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. ordered Metro Fire Director Chief Supt. Nahum Tarroza to field fire marshals to check and assess electric posts, construction sites, billboards, and other similar installations that may collapse during heavy rains.

The directive came after five Meralco concrete electrical posts and three from the Telcos (telecommunication companies) collapsed in Binondo, Manila last August 3 that left three persons injured and damaging eight parked vehicles (two SUVs, three sedans, two motorcycles, one tricycle).

In a six-page report signed by Regional Operations head Supt. Bernard Batnag obtained by the Journal Group, Manila City has the most number with 105 with San Lazaro area as the highest with 18.

Even a barangay near the Malacanang compound has four posts with “spaghetti” wirings and electrical obstructions.

Next to Manila is the Quezon City District with 77 and San Juan with 57; Caloocan has 55; Las Pinas, 52: Navotas, 50; Valenzuela, 49; Makati, 39; Pasig, 37; Marikina, 33; Pasay, 30; Mandaluyong, 18; Malabon, 17; Pateros, 17; Muntinlupa, 16; Taguig, 14; and Paranaque, 10.

Manila Fire District Marshal Senior Supt. Christine Cula said that some of these figures were provided by barangay officials.

An investigation conducted by a team led by SPO3 Sergio Pangan said it was observed that the concrete posts that collapsed, appeared to have been weakened by external factors including weather conditions.

The probe team also reviewed the footage of a closed circuit television (CCTV) in the area where they noticed that the Meralco post near the Binondo Church had multiple cracks.

Prior to the incident, personnel of Globe Telecom were seen in CCTV climbing the Meralco post using a ladder around 12:01 p.m. attaching a new cable wire from the section of nearby Quintin Paredes unnamed establishments.

The incident occurred at 12:42 p.m. or 41 minutes later.

“Based on the condition of the Meralco post, it is reasonable to assume that the additional weight from the newly attached wire may have contributed to its collapse. The incident report suggests that the collapse of the Meralco and telcos posts may have been influenced by other factors,” the report stated.

Meralco earlier said that a specific electrical post can only hold/endure a minimum of 6 and a maximum of nine additional TELCO lines to support its weight load.

“Maaaring sumobra na sa maximum weight load and nakalagay dun kaya nag-collapse,” the BFP-NCR head told this writer.