DOE hopes to restore power in Bicol by Christmas


Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi hopes that power would be restored to areas affected by Super Typhoon Rolly in time for Christmas and to aid in the fight against COVID-19, though he couldn’t give a timeline just yet.

Speaking to reporters in a virtual briefing on Tuesday, Cusi said it is “very difficult” to give such projection, though he hopes to give one within the next two days.

Nonetheless, the secretary assured the public that the energy sector of the government is on “high alert” to rush the restoration of Php2.8 billion worth of power infrastructure.

Hindi natin pwedeng patagalin ‘yan dahil Nobyembre na at malapit ang Pasko, and kailangan talaga, power is there. Kailangan na kailangan ng power in our hospitals and in our vital government installations,” Cusi said.

The Albay Power and Energy Corporation had recently said that it may take two months or until January 2021 before power is restored.

Also among those awaiting restoration is Catanduanes, where Rolly first made landfall on Sunday dawn.

Energy Usec. Felix William “Wimpy” Fuentebella said that officials of the Department of Energy (DOE) are set to meet with counterparts from the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative (FICELCO), which services the island province to discuss restoration efforts, as it suffers from Php 250-260 million in damaged facilities.

The National Electrification Administration (NEA), meanwhile, has allocated Php100 million for the restoration of electricity in areas hit by Rolly and Typhoon Quinta

Quinta and Rolly left a trail of destruction in Southern Luzon within a week of each other.

NEA Deputy Administrator Artis Nikki Tortola said in a briefing on Tuesday that the funds will be equally distributed among the affected provinces.


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