The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is asking for financial assistance that will be used to aid electric cooperatives (ECs) that were affected by Typhoon Tisoy (international name Kammuri) as damage to their distribution facilities has almost reached P1 billion.
In a letter addressed to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong appealed to release funds for the rehabilitation and restoration of electricity service by the 27 ECs whose power distribution facilities were severely damaged by the typhoon.
The NEA chief sees the 80 percent restoration of power in all affected areas by December 20.
As of Tuesday (December 17), NEA Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department (DRRMD) has reported that the initial cost of damage to the ECs’ infrastructure from the typhoon has ballooned to an estimated P899.632 million.
The Sorsogon I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SORECO I) sustained the most damage at P137.500 million, followed by Albay Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ALECO) at P134.487 million, and Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ORMECO) at P123.421 million.
Damage to Northern Samar Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NORSAMELCO) was pegged at P88.058 million, Masbate Electric Cooperative, Inc. (MASELCO) at P56.600 million, and Sorsogon II Electric Cooperative (SORECO II) at P55.441 million.
“To address the urgency of the need to rehabilitate and restore electric service in the coverage areas of these ECs, the NEA and its partner ECs are requesting/appealing for the much needed financial assistance in the form of subsidy/grant from the national government in the amount of P1 billion,” Masongsong said.
The NEA chief explained that the ECs’ internally generated fund cannot cover such funding requirement since their rate structure as approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) does not include any provision for capital expenditure requirement attributable to the damage caused by calamities.
Masongsong earlier disclosed that the state-run agency cannot implement at the moment Republic Act No. 11039, also known as the Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund (ECERF) Act, as the initial P750-million funding for its implementation has yet to be provided.
Power was fully restored to 180 typhoon-hit cities and municipalities.
Meanwhile, the NEA chief sees the 80 percent restoration of power in all affected areas by December 20, saying the EC workers have been working round-the-clock to restore electricity service.
To speed up the power restoration activities, the NEA in coordination with the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (PHILRECA) has mobilized and deployed Task Force Kapatid Tisoy to calamity-stricken Luzon and Visayas provinces.
The NEA DRRMD reported an estimated 514,570 households in 17 provinces in Luzon and the Visayas covered by 27 ECs are still without electricity based on the figures submitted by the power distribution utilities as of Tuesday.
Power was fully restored to 180 typhoon-hit cities and municipalities. Service is partially restored to 96 cities and municipalities, while restoration is still ongoing for the remaining 36 cities and towns.
Typhoon Tisoy made landfall in Gubat, Sorsogon on December 2 and left the Philippine Area of Responsibility on December 5, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).