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A WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Power back in 87% of Eastern Visayas

/ 02:22 AM December 19, 2013

With just a week before Christmas, energy officials are lighting up towns in typhoon-devastated Eastern Visayas, reconnecting electricity cooperatives and local power distributors to the grid. And their job is 87.6 percent done.

National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) and the Department of Energy (DOE)-National Electrification Administration (NEA) have reconnected 212 of 242 towns and cities, with more expected to be “energized” by Christmas Eve, according to the DOE.

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NGCP operates the country’s transmission superhighway while the NEA supervises the country’s electric cooperatives.

As of the weekend, the DOE said, NGCP has reconnected 12 of 19 communities under Aklan Electric Cooperative (Akelco), 15 of 16 areas under Antique Electric Cooperative (Anteco), 16 of 17 communities under Capiz Electric Cooperative (Capelco) and all 15 areas under Iloilo II Electric Cooperative (Ileco II).

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It has also reconnected all 13 areas under Iloilo III Electric Cooperative, all nine areas under VR Electric Cooperative, all three areas under the Bantayan Island Electric Cooperative, all 13 areas under Cebu II Electric Cooperative, six of 13 areas under DOR Electric Cooperative, all three areas under Leyte II Electric Cooperative, three of nine areas under Leyte III Electric Cooperative (Leyeco III);

All six areas under Leyte IV Electric Cooperative, 10 of 12 areas under Leyte V Electric Cooperative, 18 of 19 areas under the Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative, all 12 areas under the Samar I Electric Cooperative, all 16 areas under Samar II Electric Cooperative, all 24 areas under Northern Samar Electric Cooperative, and 18 of 23 areas under the Eastern Samar Electric Cooperative.

Few left powerless

Among the towns not covered by NGCP, the DOE, citing NEA data, said the Busuanga Electric Cooperative had reenergized Linapacan town, with Coron, Cullion and Busuanga to follow. The Camotes Island Electric Cooperative has yet to reenergize the four towns it serves, the department said.

The Biliran Electric Cooperative (Bileco) and the seven areas in its franchise had not been reconnected as of Dec. 13, the DOE said.

Joseph Ferdinand M. Dechavez, special assistant to NGCP president Henry Sy Jr., said the Milagro-Lemon-Biliran 69kV line was energized on Dec. 15 and Bileco, which serves the whole island of Biliran, had been reconnected.

NGCP said that as of the weekend, only the Leyeco III has not been reconnected to the grid.

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Dec. 24 or bust

“Transmission lines serving the rest of the cooperatives and utilities in Eastern Visayas are fully operational,” Cynthia Alabanza, spokesperson for NGCP, said.

Earlier this month, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla vowed to “reenergize” town and city centers in the typhoon-ravaged communities by reconnecting them to the grid.

He also told reporters in Leyte that he would quit if he failed to deliver by Dec. 24.

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TAGS: Eastern Visayas, Electricity production and distribution, electricity supply, Energy, power restoration
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