The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has joined hands with various electric cooperatives and allied organizations in providing all the necessary assistance to ensure the speedy rehabilitation of the damaged distribution lines and power restoration in areas affected by the five month-long battle between the government troops and the ISIS-linked Maute terrorist group in Marawi.
Administrator Edgardo Masongsong led the launching ceremony of the Marawi Power Restoration Rapid Deployment (PRRD) Task Force at the Lower Capitol Complex, with Housing Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr., field manager of Task Force Bangon Marawi.
The Marawi PRRD Task Force is composed of the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AMRECO), the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA), the National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (NAGMEC), the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) and other allied organizations.
In his speech, Masongsong thanked the different electric cooperatives for responding to the call to help the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LASURECO), currently under the management of Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power. With the technical assistance, the NEA chief set a target of completing the power restoration and rehabilitation works in 15 to 30 days.
“There are 34 electric cooperatives all over Mindanao that we are mobilizing to help LASURECO, to help Marawi, to help the Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power. We believe that our united effort to help our brethren living in this part of Mindanao – Marawi and the whole of Lanao del Sur – will bring the development that we wanted,” he said.
Also, Masongsong announced that the agency is initially extending a loan amounting to P150 million to LASURECO that will be used for the procurement of the construction materials needed for the restoration of distribution lines. The said amount, the NEA chief explained, will be converted into subsidy chargeable to the funds for the reconstruction of Marawi.
He said he already instructed Deputy Administrator for EC Management Services lawyer Goldelio Rivera and Deputy Administrator for Technical Services engineer Artis Nikki Tortola to process the loan.
“We are extending a loan to the tune of P150 million so that LASURECO, the Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power will be able to procure [the necessary construction materials],” Masongsong said.
Meanwhile, AMRECO and NAGMEC have initially committed to deploy crew and equipment.
AMRECO president Felix Vergara, Jr. said ECs in Visayas and Luzon who would also want help in the power restoration efforts could do so in the form of financial assistance.
“Ang advice namin sa ibang gustong tumulong na nasa Visayas at saka sa Luzon, kasi mahirapan na tayong magpadala ng crew at hindi na siya practical, they can convert their contribution into cash,” Vergara said.
Also present at the launching ceremony of Marawi PRRD Task Force were LASURECO Acting General Manager Nordjiana Ducol, NAGMEC president Sergio Dagooc, NCECCO national chairman Akmad Mamalinta, and general managers and Board presidents of different ECs in Mindanao.