Business & Economy

Energy restoration in Yolanda-hit provinces to cost P1-B

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MANILA -- The Department of Energy said around P1 billion will be needed in the restoration of energy in Yolanda-hit areas.


Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said some of the vital parts of the power grid in the Visayas region, which brings electricity to Samar and Leyte, were damaged at the height of the super typhoon.

"In the initial stage, when you look at the place, it's like an atomic bomb was dropped in the area and restoring it is almost impossible. I heard from the reports that 200 plus, 240 NGCP transmission line towers were down," he said.

But Petilla is confident they will be able to bring energy back in almost all areas in eastern Visayas by December 24.

"Power is going to be restored in the heart of the city or the poblacion of the town, including majority of the barangays. The only ones that will be left behind will be the isolated ones where some barangays are 10 kilometers away and have major damage. They're going to be put on the back burner," he said.

"Even with all these typhoons, we will restore. I am putting my job on the line but at the same time. Ang tanong ko lang sa lahat, what are you actually putting on the table? Because I want to tell everybody that we will do our best. If our best is not good enough, we are willing to bet," he said.

Petilla also urged residents in Metro Manila and Luzon to conserve energy to help boost energy in eastern Visayas.

"It's one of the appeal we will make to have excess power Luzon so we can throw them to Visayas. If we can also cut down on unnecessary use of electricity in Luzon, especially in the Meralco franchise," he said.

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