ABS-CBN Corp.’s subsidiary Sky Cable Corp. (SKY) announced on Monday that it will be working with major telecommunications service providers and local government units (LGUs) to address cable cutting and theft, which disrupt service connections.

Executives from SKY, Globe Telecom, Inc., PLDT, Inc. and Smart Communications, Inc. “heeded the call for unity in protecting Filipino households from these illegal acts that disrupt their service connection and affect their day-to-day activities during these unprecedented times,” the ABS-CBN subsidiary said in an e-mailed statement.

The companies signed a joint manifesto in support of the initiative. Streamtech, Metroworks ICT, Eastern Communications, Radius Telecoms, and the Philippine Cable and Telecommunications Association were also represented.

“Illegal cable cutting is a disservice to our customers. It leads to disruptions in cable TV and internet service. Together with our customers, we have been victimized by perpetrators who steal and sell the copper wires for profit or recklessly cut and damage our cable wires without regard to the disruption it causes to our internet and cable service,” the manifesto stated.

“This illegal act robs our customers of the steady internet and cable TV service they need for entertainment and access to information and disrupts connectivity required for work.”

According to SKY, this is the “first big step” in the telecommunications and cable TV industry.

“This will ensure reliable service to valued subscribers and a quicker response to such heinous acts in coordination with local authorities together with deployed special security teams.”

SKY noted that the manifesto also seeks to “hold individuals involved accountable under the rule of law, particularly with the implementation of Republic Act 10515, also known as the Cable Theft Law — with charged perpetrators either facing two to five years of imprisonment or paying hefty fines imposed by the court.”

“As of Aug. 5, SKY has reported 205 incidents of cable cutting and theft around Mega Manila, with the month of July incurring the most number of cases with 45 in total and Quezon City tallying the most number of cases spotted with 89 since January 2022,” it said.

“Four of the total cases have been filed with criminal charges by corresponding telco partners,” the company added.

In regional areas, Cebu alone has recorded 111 incidents since the start of 2022.

“Reporting such incidents to our end and the local authorities is a big help in our ‘Oplan Kontra Putol’ campaign. Not only can we respond to restore your services immediately, but your help goes a long way in preventing these certain acts in other households,” SKY’s Vice-President and Head of Strategic Relations Efren Arayata said. — Arjay L. Balinbin