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Ecija class suspension extended as outage lasts

FALLEN trees and volunteers chopping them off have become familiar scenes in Nueva Ecija after Typhoon “Santi” struck. RICHARD A. REYES

CABANATUAN CITY—The continuing power outage in Nueva Ecija province due to fallen electric posts and damaged power transmission lines after Typhoon “Santi” struck last week has forced Gov. Aurelio Umali and local school officials to suspend classes for the rest of the week as rehabilitation efforts start.

Umali said reports he received from power distributors indicated that electricity in the province would be partially restored in two weeks and full restoration may take at least a month.

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After consulting with administrators of schools, colleges and universities in Nueva Ecija, Umali said they decided to resume classes on Monday.

He also sought the postponement of the Oct. 28 barangay (village) elections in the province due to the uncertainty of the full restoration of electricity supply within the month.

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“Without electricity, we don’t like the barangay elections to push through in our province,” Umali said. “Since it is a manual election, we are sure that the counting of ballots may extend to the wee hours.”

He said local officials are preparing for the possibility of the outbreak of violence, especially if the counting extends to the night, because of intense rivalries among barangay candidates. Nueva Ecija has 849 villages.

Residents in this city, a major commercial center of Nueva Ecija, endure long lines in an Internet café powered by a generator set to connect with their relatives and friends through social media. Others go to a shopping mall that offers free charging of mobile phones.

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TAGS: Education, Gov. Aurelio Umali, News, power blackouts, Regions, Santi
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