Stolen Electrical Wires & Parts

It’s bad enough we are all suffering from the effects of Typhoon Milenya. It’s amazing to me that Meralco is able to repair so many damaged lines in a relatively short amount of time. So we were so grateful at the school that I am connected with when a truck showed up today with all manner of parts and cables and stopped right near the school campus with the intent of fixing a substation or other technical thingamajiggy that would hopefully restore power to the school with nearly 400 students and staff that have been unable to return to classes so far. Seeing the extent of the damage, they unloaded their cables and assorted parts and headed back to home base to pick up a replacement transformer or other major part. When they returned just two hours later, they found that all of the parts they had earlier unloaded had been STOLEN! How bloody obnoxious is that? Is that incredulous or what!!! And this is on the heels of documented reports of people stealing cables from downed poles right on EDSA and other major thoroughfares in BROAD DAYLIGHT during and after the storm! I know what I would do to these thieves if they were caught and I was a supreme dictator… but I am curious what all of you would mete out as punishment… please vote on the poll at right…


35 Responses

  1. Just like Millet I was expecting ‘all of the above’ option, chose Ban them and all their descendants from electrical connections!

  2. I wish we are tough as Singapore, so people will learned the lesson. CANE THEM as a punishment and put them in the newspaper and television. Banning them is not the solution, they steal more, this time the electricity.

    The other four choices are too mean. We just pray that the gov’t will give us enough job to stop the poverty.

  3. I used to work as an engineer for Meralco and cable wires theft has always been one the major problems that besiege the business on top of illegal tapping from the residential to the industrial users. It’s such a shame that there’s a number our countrymen who are unscrupulous to high heavens that they rob the very people who serve them. Meralco’s mantra is zero if not low system loss and this number is a measure of the duration of interruption of service per year. Every engineer and employee who works for the operations group make it their responsibility to keep this number as low as possible. This is why it’s almost a company-wide obligation to help in any way immediately restore service to customers especially during typhoons as strong as this recent one. After all, any time there is an interruption of service, no money is coming in. Each time customer’s electric meter is stopped, Meralco is not making any money at all. As we all know the payment that Meralco collects goes in bulk to NAPOCOR and what’s left is what supports Meralco’s many offices so they can continue provide electric service to customers.

    Illegal tapping and theft of electric wires and parts has been made into law and punishable by imprisonment and heavy fines. But how do you run after all these obnoxious lazy people who makes poverty their excuse to rob others. During my time, we heard stories that robbers even try to cut off ground wires of high tension cables. These high tension cables are made with thick and non-flexible ACSR (aluminum steel reinforced) conductors. How they can manage to cut these thick tough wires I don’t know. As they say, if there is a will there is a way. These people should be punished and I just voted that they be “Tied to the lightning rods on top of skyscrapers and only let them down after a vicious lightning storm.” They will not only fry but prolly be charred to ashes. They deserve it! – Teresa from NJ

  4. Just after the storm subsides we had our electricity back at thursday night, neighbors rejoicing and shutting off their generators. We thought we’re really lucky to have it back just like the old days in the early 90s when we are mostly spared during blackouts. But to our surprise just after a 10 mins relief, we heard a blast and darkness followed!
    Apparently, they discovered that there was a missing copper cable on a certain portion of the village. The remaining cables were unable to hold the electric current flow. The village’s security must have been not vigilant enough that day thus some thieves got in.
    And few months ago, our phone lines also had been disconnected due to thieves as well. The PLDT box outside the village was opened by thieves. They got some fiber optics cables!! We didnt have our phone lines for almost a week! They are really annoying!

  5. If it’s any consolation, there are copper thieves in Vancouver, BC as well. Copper has been the target of thieves as the price of the scrap metal has gone up.

    In one case here in BC, a copper thief had a massive electrical jolt while trying to steal copper wire from a substation. He was zapped with 12,000 volts and 300 amps of electricity. The thief survived, was brought to the hospital for treatment and then released. He will be charged, of course, but I suspect he will just get a slap on the wrist. None of the recommended punishment in the survey.

  6. this is what happened to our village during the typhoon.. these crooks had a field day cutting off wires from the meralco posts hit by the storm.. it took us til the eve of monday to have electricity and like what some here say, i surely missed my ice-cold water!! but i guess, if nobody buys these stolen wires no matter how much it’s price is when re-sold, nobody would be interested to cut them off.. i heard a story about a poor family who’s eldest child was so proud of his “wire-cutting” that he even told his mother that he would be able to buy himself and his siblings new uniforms for school since he was able to sell the wires for 2k!! i don’t know who to blame.. these poor people trying to get some money illegally or the people running a corrupt government.. oh boy!!

  7. Like Millet, I would vote for “all of the above”. I have given up on trying to figure out why, because I know I would come up with a gazillion ridiculous answers and outrageous excuses from these thieves. Why the fences aren’t arrested, ask the authorities! Since it’s a given that cables DO get stolen, shouldn’t the linemen have AT LEAST left someone to watch over the equipment while they went off to get the transformer? For all we know these b*****ds tailgate these trucks everywhere for a chance to run-off with whatever they can get.

  8. I agree with Kaye — if nobody buys the stolen wires, then nobody would cut them off. My husband says they should do something about those junk shops. A lot of stolen stuff get sold there. Although I’m all for recycling, maybe we should limit their goods to bote and dyaryo, minus the bakal.

    I’m also so against billboards. Although I used to work in an advertising firm, I still think they’re ugly. You don’t see that much outdoor advertising in beautiful cities like Singapore.

    And if I had it my way, I’d put all those cables underground. Just imagine if there were no cables and billboards (like along Ayala Ave.), Metro Manila would be so much more beautiful.

  9. Hi market manila,

    I just want comment that we need to cut the main culrpit of
    the stolen electric cable & wire, the scrap buyer of copper & aluminum material that encourange this people to supply this stolen materials, we have been victim of all this thieves,
    specially if you leave your house without any person, the first thing you know that the bote-diario cariton guy ransack you home of all aluminum window, electric wire that they can bring to sell it to the scrap buyer, goverment should look into this anti fencing law and spare no one.
    thanks for this opportunities to be heard from your website.

  10. eh di koryentihin! not enough to kill them, just to give them a good quiver. or render them impotent or something.

  11. How about tying them on an electric post in the middle of a major street, buck naked for all to see, with a matching sign that states their names and the crimes they committed. Include the fences too, and some of the tanods or village security that could very well be part of the scheme. And let’s not forget some of the linemen themselves. It does seem like that these cables were intentionally left unattended.

  12. I have decided on my final form of punishment. Give them the electric chair and halfway through the prescribed 15 seconds of zapping them, CUT THE WIRE, so there is a blackout and they are only half-done…

  13. MM: They don’t care about banning because they don’t have electrical connections in their houses, in the first place. For me it’s better to cut off their both hands.

  14. if you saw the news last weekend, it showed the President inspecting the devastation in Malabon (I think). And in front of her were kids stealing meralco wires and stuff!

  15. Marketman, it’s a good thing you’re not a supreme dictator. :-) What a crazy, funny poll.

  16. why do you think that’s happening to the phils?who’s to blame?If we only have a stable and uncorrupted government, our kababayan won’t do those crimes. the one who needs to be punished is MACAPAGAL ARROYO!

  17. MM, I think I’ll go for the electric chair. Though, I’m not quite sure if any of the punishments you’ve just listed will stop them from committing the crime. Better to cut off both their hands, as Grace Lopez suggested.

  18. My first reaction was also to be mad. But come to think of it guys, maybe they do it because they’re hungry? I know, stealing is not the answer to hunger; but as they say when hunger strikes, love goes out of the window.

  19. RobKSA, hunger and poverty have always been the excuse of those who wanted to get out of their current situation in the easiest way possible….meaning, what they are doing is just plain KATAMARAN. Sabi nga ng mga matatanda, ayaw magbanat ng buto. Stealing is their only solution because they don’t like menial jobs that require back breaking tasks but don’t pay much. I’ve known a lot of people who had worked their way out of poverty, and some who are already in their 60’s but are still working hard just to give their family proper meal and proper education.

  20. There is one main culprit here: poverty. If menial job workers in this country were paid an actual living wage we would see a lot less petty theft. even the police are underpaid, so anyone with a bit of money can buy himself out of being arrested. it’s a cycle of poverty; a culture of poverty. robKSA has a point.

    Morals and ethics are for the eating classes, or those that have their three squares a day. No food? No morals. It’s not a case of being immoral, actually it’s more amoral– questions of morality and ethics do not even factor into the equation amongst the poorest of the poor. Survival is the name of the game.

    The type of theft that MM has described happens even more rampantly in poor African countries for instance.

    Those who talk of morality and ethics are getting their stomachs filled daily i can assure you.

  21. ems, If the rich and famous in our meads can steal why not somebody who is hungry? It’s not katamaran, it’s the lack of opportunities for them to work their bones. I’m one of those who have work my way out of poverty; but only after I have to find work abroad, there’s not just enough work around for the poor of our country.

  22. I buy both sides of the coin/issue, but I would solve it first by cutting our population growth by 80%. The average educated city dweller is now having roughly 3 or less offspring but the less fortunate and less educated families are still having upwards of 7 to 8 kids each. The average family size is still in the 5-6 kids area. And if I were supreme dictator, I would figure out who could breed or not… and it isn’t based on income levels… I am only partially kidding, mind you. Another way to look at it is that we are far less prodcutive per worker than many of our neighbors…that might address the “katamaran” or “output” issues… a clothing factory in China might make 2-3x the amount of garments than we do so so even if they are paid slightly more, it is still better to sew the clothes there. All we have to look at is a typical Mcdonalds outlet, ever notice that it might have 2-3x the staff of a typical equivalent in some Western countries? Okay, so the U.S. pays maybe PHP1500 per day in wages versus our PHP400 but if they do the work of 2 people, the difference starts to narrow dramatically… Rich or poor, I do not countenance stealing; it is just plain wrong. Don’t have any kids if you can’t reasonably assure that you can feed, cloth and educate them…that is no one else’s responsibility (including the state) than your own.

  23. OK RobKSA, in the back of my mind, I know you have a point…..maybe I’m just being partial. My family lives in Tondo and I’ve seen many poor families living there. There are those that do the hard work, and yes they do complain…a lot, especially when they don’t have enough to eat. But they are good people who don’t harm anybody. And there are those who are bulkier and stronger in built….also complain a lot…but never work. I agree with MM, stealing should never be the option because it is wrong. I just can’t understand why the poorer they get, the more children they have.

  24. I agree with you guys; poverty or hunger is not a justified reason for stealing. I just have a soft spot for them because I came from a poor family so I once knew how to be hungry and tempted to steal.
    Ok, now let’s stop this and continue with our cooking :)

  25. Yup enough said… thanks guys for discussing an issue without taking any of it personally. I continue to hope that I can plow some of my resources into creating more jobs in the local market…give people the opportunities and hopefully they will run with it!

  26. i wanted to report an employee of meralco who stoles and sell the wires that is own by meralco i was there i saw all the monkey bussiness that thier doing… out for them



Subscribe To Updates

No spam, only notifications about new blog posts.