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Electricity to be back in Aklan in 2 weeks

By: - Correspondent / @nestorburgosINQ
/ 04:19 PM January 08, 2020

ILOILO CITY –– The full restoration of electricity in Aklan province is expected to take at least two more weeks as teams replace or repair lines and structures damaged or destroyed by Typhoon “Ursula.”

Engineer Alexis Regalado, general manager of the Aklan Electric Cooperative (Akelco), said they were targeting the normalization of power supply in the province by January 25 and complete the restoration of electric supply on Boracay Island by this week.

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Akelco distributes power to 17 towns in Aklan and the towns of Pandan and Libertad in Antique.

As of January 7, electricity has been restored in 16 town centers and neighboring areas, Regalado said.

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Only the town centers of Buruanga and New Washington in Aklan and Libertad in Antique are still without electricity.

He said Akelco personnel and around 500 members of teams from other electric cooperatives have restored electricity in 60 percent of the households and 159 of 381 villages.

The typhoon has damaged or destroyed at least 1,144 electric posts initially estimated to cost P91.83 million.

“Several of our primary and backbone lines were destroyed or damaged, that is why full restoration is taking time,” Regalado told the INQUIRER.

Business operators in Aklan province have appealed to the local and national governments to help fast-track the full restoration of power in the province, including on Boracay Island that was battered by Ursula.

In a resolution, the Aklan chapter of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI-Aklan) said the prolonged loss of electricity in areas in the province, including parts of Boracay Island, has prompted establishments to close or scale down operations.

Aklan is among the worst-hit areas of the typhoon that left 29 persons dead, destroyed 17,795 houses, and damaged 113,133 others in Western Visayas alone.

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Aklan was declared under a state of calamity, along with the provinces of Capiz and Antique, and several municipalities in Iloilo.

The PCCI-Aklan said the hardest affected are micro, small and medium enterprises relying on electricity to run their businesses because of the cost of using generator sets to operate.

While it cited the restoration of power supply in parts of the province by the Akelco and repair personnel from other electric cooperatives, many areas have no electricity for almost two weeks.

“More needs to be done (to restore power),” the business group said.

It said restoring normal power on Boracay Island should be a priority amid the current peak season for tourists.

The business operators appealed for a “joint effort” among the national government, private power companies, and electric cooperatives to find the means for the early resolution of the power supply problem before the holding of the Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-atihan festival from January 13 to 19.

Edited by LZB
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TAGS: Aklan, Electricity, Local news, Philippine news updates, Regions, Typhoon Ursula 
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