Citing their importance in ensuring energy security and continuous water supply, Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian pressed for the inclusion of power linemen and water meter readers in the vaccine priority list of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Gatchalian pointed out that, “just like the other non-medical frontliners, linemen and meter readers who do house-to-house work also put their lives on the line by getting themselves exposed to those who could be possibly infected by the coronavirus.”
In airing the appeal for the Duterte government to consider their prioritization ahead of the mass vaccination, Gatchalian said power linemen and water meter readers doing field work likewise “place themselves in harm’s way” as they need to continue to provide for their respective families as well, adding: “They too can be considered as essential workers as their line of work ensures the unimpeded delivery of services of power facilities.”
“Their inclusion in the priority list is essential as they attend to the concerns of every household,” Gatchalian stressed in a statement, noting linemen install lines and do maintenance, repair works and other technical problems “even under circumstances where strict health protocols are being enforced.”
Acknowledging their vital task, the Senator noted that meter readers ensure the proper reading of meters for billing statements.
He added that Meralco has 756 meter readers and 7,306 line personnel, apart from an estimated 9,680 linemen and 2,420 meter readers from electric cooperatives (ECs) nationwide.
The senator recalled that the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), following the re-imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in areas declared under the NCR Plus bubble, recently appealed to the local government units (LGUs) to allow the conduct of onsite electric meter reading activities while ensuring compliance to the prescribed health protocols.