Electric cooperatives (ECs) from Mindanao have sent linemen and boom trucks to Eastern Visayas to assist with power restoration efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Ursula.

The 55-man crew, which was called Task Force Kapatid Ursula, arrived at the Don Orestes Romualdez Electric Cooperative, Inc. (DORELCO) headquarters in Tolosa, Leyte on Saturday (December 28).

They will be assisting the Eastern Samar Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ESAMELCO) and Samar II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SAMELCO II) in turning the lights back on for thousands of consumers who have been without power since last week.

The task force is composed of line workers and support personnel from Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ANECO), Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ASELCO), Dinagat Island Electric Cooperative, Inc. (DIELCO), Siargao Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SIARELCO), Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SURNECO), Surigao del Sur I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SURSECO I), Surigao del Sur II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SURSECO II), and the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (DANECO).

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is working closely with the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (PHILRECA) and its regional organizations in the deployment of crews and equipment to disaster-stricken areas.

They will be assisting the Easter Samar Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ESAMELCO) and Samar II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SAMELCO II).

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong commended all members of Task Force Kapatid Ursula who left their families and homes for weeks to help restore power in typhoon-battered provinces.

“Thank you to all our line workers who sacrifice time with their families this holiday season to provide assistance to the communities impacted by the typhoon. I wish them well as they work in the field restoring power,” Masongsong said.

Typhoon Ursula (international name Phanfone), was the 21st tropical cyclone to hit the country this year, disrupted power transmission and distribution services to several provinces in Mimaropa, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and Western Visayas.

Of the 29 ECs affected by the storm, 13 power distribution utilities have returned to normal operations, based on the monitoring of the NEA Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department (DRRMD) as of Sunday (December 29).

The NEA DRRMD said the 16 ECs with ongoing restoration activities are in Romblon, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Capiz, Aklan, Iloilo, Cebu, Biliran, Leyte, Eastern Samar, and Western Samar.

In Eastern Samar, ESAMELCO reported that the power has been fully restored in the municipalities of Arteche, Can-avid, Dolores, Jipapad, Maslog, Oras, San Julian, San Policarpo, Sulat, and Taft.

Electricity has been partially restored in Borongan City, Balangkayan, and Maydolong, while restoration is ongoing in Balangiga, Gen. MacArthur, Giporlos, Guiuan, Hernani, Lawaan, Llorente, Mercedes, Quinapondan, and Salcedo.

In Western Samar, SAMELCO II reported it has partially restored electricity service in Catbalogan City, Calbiga, Hinabangan, Jiabong, Motiong, Paranas, Pinabacdao, San Jose de Buan, San Sebastian, Zumarraga, Villareal, Basey, and Sta. Rita, while restoration efforts are ongoing in Daram, Marabut, and Talalora.


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