A total of 23 teams from PHILRECA-member electric cooperatives have been assigned to help in the restoration of distribution systems of electric cooperatives affected by typhoon Odette. This initial batch of Task Force Kapatid contingents composed of 230 lineworkers with 21 vehicles will be deployed in certain areas of Regions 6, 7, 8, 10, and CARAGA.
More electric cooperatives have also expressed and confirmed their commitment to send lineworkers, equipment, and needed materials to other typhoon Odette-affected electric cooperatives in Visayas and Mindanao.
After conducting a series of meetings today with electric cooperatives, particularly, those who are operating in Regions 6, 8, 9, 10, and CARAGA (Region 7 and other island ECs remain unreachable as of early today), PHILRECA reported that Task Force Kapatid has in fact deployed a number of contingents already to different areas.
“As confirmed by our Task Force Kapatid Commanders, some teams have been deployed in Region VIII already and that all ECs in the region – except LEYECO IV and SOLECO – are ready to receive power as soon as the transmission operator or NGCP transmits power,” reported Atty. Janeene Depay-Colingan, executive director and general manager of the national association of electric cooperatives.
Colingan also said that many ECs are ready to receive and distribute power but they “are still awaiting update from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines or NGCP on when the system operator can begin transmitting electricity again.”
“Different cooperatives have different circumstances and needs – some affected ECs need additional manpower only, some need materials or equipment, while some need both – that is why we are trying our best to meet the affected and assisting ECs first before we start full deployment because we cannot afford to have a mismatch of resources,” added Colingan.
Rep. Presley C. De Jesus, party-list representative and President of PHILRECA, said that he is in communication with other government agencies to seek their assistance in reaching out to other electric cooperatives who remained unreachable at the moment.
“Sadly, there are ECs who have no available communications at the moment as telco infrastructures are also heavily affected and remained non-operational at this time,” explained De Jesus. He suggested utilizing the Office of Civil Defense and even other military installations to find out what is happening in other areas who cannot be reached until now.
While pursuing other options, “we have authorized some of our people to physically go and inspect those areas with no communications and see what other assistance is needed,” said De Jesus.
PHILRECA’s Task Force Kapatid aims to have a complete assessment of the needs and situation of other affected ECs the soonest so that they can finalize deployment of Task Force contingents. Electric cooperatives who have given their commitment to send teams for the Task Force are already prepared and are just awaiting assignments.
Other private distribution utilities have communicated with PHILRECA and expressed their commitment to assist affected electric cooperatives.
Meanwhile, the One EC Network Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the One EC-MCO Movement, has been consolidating information on the impact of the typhoon to EC employees and member-consumer-owners so that the foundation can provide necessary assistance. Individuals and groups who wish to support the foundation’s CSR efforts may get in touch with PHILRECA’s secretariat through e-mail or its social media pages.