Petilla confident of meeting deadline on Visayas power restoration
MANILA, Philippines – There is a good chance power will be restored in Yolanda-hit areas in the Visayas by December 24, said Energy Secretary Jericho Carlos Petilla said Monday.
Petilla, who had vowed to resign if power will not be restored in devastated areas in the Visayas before Christmas, said more than 50 percent of the transmission facilities were operational and about 50 percent of the distribution facilities were already repaired.
Petilla added that the Department of Energy (DOE) and concerned agencies are working closely together to restore power in those areas.
At a press briefing Tuesday, Mario Marasigan, director of Energy-Renewable Bureau of DOE, said the greatest impact of “Yolanda” was on transmission and distribution.
“Many posts were down so reconstruction is difficult,” said Marasigan.
Petilla said some parts of Tacloban are now enjoying electricity.
“We already have some parts of Tacloban lighted including main thoroughfares, government offices and water districts where the community can tapped connection for their power supply,” Petilla said.
In case power supply will be insufficient, Petilla said, they will draw supply from the excess power supply of Metro Manila.
Restoration of transmission and distribution facilities, according to Petilla, will cost P6.5 billion, P5 billion for damaged distribution facilities and more than P1 million for the National Grid Corporation (NGCP).
Asked on where to get the funds to sustain the rehabilitation of power lines, Petilla said their main goal is to have Visayas lighted before Christmas and the computation of funds will follow.
Petilla has said he was studying the option of using the Malampaya fund for the restoration of power facilities but later said it would entail rigorous legal processes.
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