Power has been restored in over a third of barangays in Bohol two months after Odette hit the province.
Based on a report by The Bohol Chronicle, the province’s three power distributors have resumed electricity services to 396 or 36.2% of Bohol’s 1,094 barangays connected to the Visayas Grid. Another 15 barangays are off-grid since these are in small islands off the mainland.
As of February 11, the Bohol I Electric Cooperative (BOHECO I) reported that it has restored 32% of its household connections. The Bohol II Electric Cooperative (BOHECO II) restored 38.6% of the connections in its service area. BOHECO I serves Bohol’s western half – including Panglao Island and excluding Tagbilaran City – while BOHECO II serves the eastern half.
Meanwhile, Bohol Light Company, Inc. (BLCI), which serves Tagbilaran, said it has partially restored power to all 15 barangays in the city. BLCI added that some houses remain isolated from the grid due to damages in their personal wires connecting to their secondary lines.
BLCI is aiming to fully restore power in Tagbilaran by February 28, while BOHECO I and II are looking to complete their repairs by April, just weeks shy of the automated national elections on May 9.
Bohol was reconnected to the Visayas Grid last week after energizing the two temporary transmission towers under the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines‘s (NGCP) emergency restoration systems. Bohol, which depends on Leyte for 60% of its power requirements, was cut off from the Visayas Grid when Odette brought down NGCP’s two special towers on the mainland and Lapinig Island in December 2021.
Meanwhile, consumer group National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms (NASECORE) has asked the Senate to probe NGCP for its “gross failure” to provide quality, stable, secure, and affordable supply of electricity amid the widespread damages brought by Odette.
In his letter to Senate energy committee chairman Sherwin Gatchalian, NASECORE President Pete Ilagan said that the upper chamber of Congress was fixated on the controversial sale of the Malampaya gas-to-power project to Udenna Corporation that it turned a blind eye to NGCP’s shortcomings in the Odette-hit areas.
Ilagan added that the Senate must conduct legal action over NGCP’s “failure to maintain typhoon and earthquake resilient transmission towers in its area of operation and to secure firm ancillary service procurement agreements.”
Power Philippines has sought comments from Gatchalian’s office and from NGCP, but both have yet to give feedback.
Photo from BOHECO II Facebook page