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Visayan Electric says open to collaboration for a more resilient future

Visayan Electric
Visayan Electric linemen repair electric poles damaged by Odette in Bohol.

In light of the progress made by affected communities after the onslaught of super typhoon Odette last year, Visayan Electric Co. (Visayan Electric) has highlighted the opportunity for further collaboration toward a more resilient future.

This came on the heels of the Cebu-based power firm’s deployment of augmentation crews to help with power restoration in two Bohol towns last June, which a company executive said emphasized the benefits of synergy among various sectors.

“Whether we were on the giving or receiving end of assistance in the aftermath of Odette, one thing was clear. One can go far alone but can go farther with the help of others,” Visayan Electric President and Chief Operating Officer Raul C. Lucero said.

Visayan Electric, an AboitizPower subsidiary, sent two groups of 10 linemen to the towns of Buenavista and Getafe last month. The team was there from April 21 to June 3.

These towns had gone almost five months without stable electricity, with a few far-flung villages experiencing it for much longer. Local utilities had to implement power rationing during this period.

By the end of the team’s stay, they had repaired and put up 163 electric poles, repositioned 15 transformers, and fixed power lines spanning 45 kilometers, helping energize dozens, if not hundreds, of households across these places.

Lucero earlier said that this was their way of paying forward the help Visayan Electric received from other distribution utilities during their time of need.

He added that the next logical step would be to explore other areas of cooperation. This can include, among others, sharing knowledge, expertise, and best practices between distribution utilities and electric cooperatives across neighboring provinces to respond better in future emergencies.

The executive also pointed out that work goes beyond the mandate of electric utilities, going on to say that preparedness and resilience are things all sectors must work together to achieve.

Bohol 1st District Representative Edgardo M. Chatto told Visayan Electric representatives that he “looks forward to more partnerships [with Aboitiz] in the future.”

He thanked the Aboitiz Group for their support, further stating that the Visayan Electric utility crews helped bring stable power back to many homes and businesses.

“They say that adversities bring out the best and worst in people. This collaboration between electric cooperatives is very much appreciated as it displayed Bayanihan and immediate response to power consumers,” Chatto said.

Earlier news reports stated that agriculture suffered the brunt of the typhoon, with damaged pegged at over P3 billion as of the end of December 2021. The tourism sector, which is considered the island’s bread and butter, also incurred losses estimated at around P430 million as of January this year.

“We are very thankful to Aboitiz and Visayan Electric for helping us in these difficult times through their quick response in restoring our damaged power lines,” said Chatto.

The congressman pointed out that power is vital to development since many industries that economic growth is hinged on require stable electricity, including agriculture and tourism.

“Power sufficiency in Bohol will be a game-changer in terms of opportunities for growth,” he added.

Chatto said that more than six months since the devastating typhoon, Bohol is regaining momentum with businesses and the tourism sector thriving once again.

About Visayan Electric

Visayan Electric Company Inc. is the second-largest electric utility in the Philippines. It serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga, and four municipalities of the greater part of Metro Cebu – Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla, and San Fernando. Its franchise service covers an area of about 674 square kilometers with an estimated population of 1.73 million.

Visayan Electric utilizes various state-of-the-art technologies in its operations to improve its efficiency and service. It uses a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system to monitor and control its electric distribution assets via remote control. It also has a GIS (Geographic Information System) to map and manage its facilities.

Visayan Electric is owned and managed by publicly-listed Aboitiz Power Corporation (PSE: AP) and Vivant Corporation. Approximately 800 individual shareholders comprise the Visayan Electric shareholders’ roster.

About AboitizPower

AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services. It advances business and communities by providing reliable and ample power supply at a reasonable and competitive price, and with the least adverse effects on the environment and host communities.

The company is one of the largest power producers in the Philippines with a balanced portfolio of assets located across the country. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, the company’s brand for clean and renewable energy with several hydroelectric, geothermal, and solar power generation facilities. It also has thermal power plants in its generation portfolio to support the country’s baseload and peak energy demands.

The company also owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, including the country’s second and third largest private utilities.

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