power and water

VECO: Power fully restored in Cebu by January 31

Lorraine Ecarma

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VECO: Power fully restored in Cebu by January 31

IN NEED OF POWER. With power supply still down, residents of Cebu are desperate to buy generators in Carbon Market following the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.

Jacqueline Hernandez/Rappler

So far only 15.8%, or 74,920 households and business establishments under the Visayan Electric Company's franchise area, have had their electricity restored

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Visayan Electric Company (VECO) said they project power will be fully restored by the end of January.

“You have noticed that some areas have already been energized. What we did was energize the backbone [lines] under particular feeders,” Raul Lucero, VECO’s president and chief operating officer, said in Cebuano during a press conference on Sunday, December 26.

Backbone lines are main lines distributing power from feeders. Power carried under these lines are then distributed to lateral lines which branch out to barangays and villages.

So far only 15.8%, or 74,920 households and business establishments under VECO’s franchise area, have had their electricty restored.

The company said they are targeting restoration of all 474,182 consumers by January 31. 

Lateral lines that got reenergized first were those that sustained only minimal damage. The local governments also ordered VECO to restore essential services first.

“This is because our government officials mandated us to energize the hospitals, water pumping stations…and then vaccine centers and antennas owned by telcos,” he added. 

At present, 19 out of 31 private and public hospitals in the island have been reenergized, or a total of 61%.

All hospitals in the island are projected to have power restored by December 31.

Water restoration

According to VECO, at least 43 out of 116 or 37% of the water pumps under the Metropolitan Cebu Water Districts have regained electricity. They hope to restore power to 80% of water pumps by the end of the year.

At least 8 out of the 31 or 38% of the water pumps under Abejo Waters Corporation have also been reenergized. They are likewise expected to reach 80% power restoration by the end of the year.

At present, there are a total of 725 linemen, engineers, and technicians deployed to restore power lines from the Liloan to San Fernando towns.

The company also brought in reinforcements to supplement their workforce of 216 people. There are 343 linemen contractors, while 166 are from other electric companies from other islands, sent to augment VECO’s personnel.

VECO’s targets for restoration are as follows:

  • 30% or 142,255 reenergized consumers by December 31
  • 80% or 379,346 reenergized consumers by January 10
  • 100% or 474,182 reenergized consumers by January 31

Right now, VECO said they could not yet release a detailed breakdown of the restoration schedule per municipality. The speed of restoration in these towns depends on availability and capacity of personnel.

According to Lucero, among the most damaged areas on the island by Typhoon Odette are Naga City and Cebu City.

The electric problem in the island also triggered long queues in water-refilling stations, gas stations, and ATMs which are being powered mostly by generator sets. – Rappler.com

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