Philippines mobile operator Globe Telecom says it’s managed to reduce incidents of cable theft as it announces plans to boost collaboration with local government units (LGUs) and law enforcement authorities to combat the problem.
Globe says it logged 746 cases of cable theft between January to May 2023. Many of them have happened in Cebu (including Mandaue City, Liloan and Consolacion), which accounts for 678 cases. Other hot areas for cable theft include Quezon City, Manila, Valenzuela City, Malabon and Pasig City.
On the bright side, that figure is 60% lower than the same period last year, which Globe credits in part to the launch of industry-wide initiative “Oplan Kontra Putol” in August 2022.
Oplan Kontra Putol – whose members also include PLDT/Smart, Radius Telecoms, SKY Cable and the Philippine Cable and Telecommunications Association – has been lobbying law enforcement agencies to enforce the Cable Theft Act, which criminalizes intentional cable cutting. Globe has been running its own anti-cable theft campaign, Bantay Kable Program, in conjunction with LGUs and the Philippine National Police, for the past several years.
Globe also partly credits the drop in cable theft to its ongoing move to replace copper wires with fiber, which has no resale value.
“As part of its proactive approach to addressing cable theft, Globe continuously collaborates with our partner local government units and local law enforcement agencies so that together, we can bring a holistic solution to this problem. We look forward to stronger cooperation with our partners to bring cable theft numbers further down,” Patrick Gloria, Globe VP for External Affairs, said in a statement.
Even so, cable theft isn’t the only crime plaguing telcos in the Philippines. In the first half of this year, Globe logged over 1,545 incidents, including the theft of “batteries, fuel and other electronics and facility hardware.”
Those thefts contributed to 207 outages in 124 sites as of May 2023, Globe says.