The National Electrification Administration (NEA) advised the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LASURECO) to ensure adequate power supply in areas where thousands of Marawi City residents are temporarily taking refuge due to the ongoing clashes between government forces and a local terrorist group.
“While LASURECO is waiting for the normalization of the security situation before it can repair its facilities in Marawi City, they must ensure that electricity services are unhampered in localities hosting the evacuees,” NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong said.
LASURECO, according to the NEA chief, may now temporarily shift its focus from restoring power services in conflict-stricken city to providing electricity to its neighboring areas such as Iligan City, where displaced residents are staying in evacuation centers.
Masongsong, meanwhile, expressed dismay over the outbreak of hostilities in Marawi City as it occurred at a time when the Task Force Duterte-Lanao Sur Power has hit the ground running to revive the ailing electric cooperative.
“Sayang, ngayon pa when LSURECO is getting up on its feet – timely and improved collections, employees are getting paid on time, areas are getting better services – ngayon pa nangyari ito. LASURECO was on its way to full rehabilitation when this unfortunate event happened,” he said.
LASURECO Acting General Manager Nordjiana Ducol reported that a satellite office has been set up in Iligan City to address the concerns of their employees and member-consumers who are displaced by the fighting.
Last May 24, Masongsong issued an advisory directing all electric cooperatives across the island of Mindanao to increase security of their facilities, especially the offices and power substations, in view of the declaration of Martial Law for 60 days by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Department of Energy (DOE) likewise convened the inter-agency task force to secure all the energy facilities, such as power plants, transmission tower, distribution facilities and oil depots, in Mindanao.
An inter-agency group has also been created to rehabilitate the energy facilities damaged by clashes in Marawi City.