Power in 'Pablo'-hit areas to be restored before Christmas

by Kathleen A. Martin, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Dec 06 2012 11:19 AM | Updated as of Dec 06 2012 07:20 PM

 MANILA, Philippines - The Energy department hopes to restore power in typhoon-hit areas of Cateel, Baganga, and Boston, all in Davao Oriental, before Christmas.

"Ang target namin is before Christmas ... mapailaw natin 'to," Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said on ZMM's Failon Ngayon on Thursday.

"At the latest, yung huling ma-energize kung pwede is before Christmas."

Petilla said that as of the last count, 210 electricity posts fell after Pablo devastated said areas earlier this week.

As early as Wednesday afternoon, some of the rural electric cooperatives in nearby areas have already started inspecting the damage and restoring some of the power in the three towns, Petilla said. 

He noted, however, that the extent of the damage is still to be seen as some parts of the hard-hit areas remain isolated due to damaged bridges and roads.

"Inaasahan natin dito ay ang ating Task Force Kapatid kung saan yung mga hindi apektadong kooperatiba (electric cooperatives) ang tumatakbo at tutulong," Petilla said.

He also assured the government will do whatever is necessary to bring back power in these towns ravaged by Pablo as soon as possible.

"Kung kailangan tayong kumuha ng external contractor para tumulong e gawan na rin natin ng paraan. Ang target namin e di lang maitayo ang poste, kundi ma-i-clear ang daan para naman si [Public Works] Secretary [Rogelio] Singson e makadaan mga tao niya at maabutan ang mga tulay na sira," Petilla said.

Typhoon Pablo has already claimed the lives of 325 people, civil defense chief Benito Ramos said in a news conference Thursday morning.

Moreover, 379 were still missing, while 411 were reported injured.