Linemen from Aboitiz subsidiary Visayan Electric Comapny, the country’s second-largest power distributor, have been working in the past week to help restore power in Albay, which bore the brunt of Typhoon Quinta and Super Typhoon Rolly.
The Cebu-based power firm sent two teams comprising 11 linemen who arrived in the province on November 10. They were deployed to Tiwi, where sister company AP Renewables’ geothermal power plant is located.
By November 15, the Visayan Electric contingent has rehabilitated a total of 40 poles, corrected nine leaning poles, fixed nine broken poles, and retrieved or removed four transformers.
“At first, I was hesitant to go because of COVID-19. But my values compelled me to say yes. Seeing the state of the town in the news moved me,” said Louie Angelo Collera, head of Visayan Electric’s system operations department and part of the 11-man team that traveled 420 kilometers by land and sea to reach Albay.
“It’s not easy being apart from our loved ones, but we’re happy to serve and live our values. Helping others brings us happiness,” Collera added.
In an advisory posted on its Facebook page, Albay Power and Energy Corporation, the distribution utility that serves Albay’s 15 towns and three cities, said it is “grateful to the DUs (distribution utilities) and ECs (electric cooperatives) who sent help to restore electricity in the province.”
Visayan Electric is one of several power firms from outside Bicol that helped restore electricity in the region following the onslaughts of Quinta and Rolly. Quinta made its first landfall in Albay on October 25, while Rolly followed a week later on November 1. Rolly is the world’s strongest cyclone so far for 2020.
“With a global health crisis still ongoing and the threat of more typhoons coming before this year ends, it is imperative for us to help one another in any way we can. The strength of our spirit is multiplied when we work hand in hand. Together, we will help Albay build back better,” said Visayan Electric President and Chief Operating Officer Raul Lucero.