Gov't races vs dark Christmas as Odette downs power lines in Cebu, Bohol

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 20 2021 10:48 AM | Updated as of Dec 20 2021 04:37 PM

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MANILA – Authorities eyed restoring power before Christmas in parts of the central and southern Philippines which were ravaged late last week by typhoon Odette. 

Odette downed some 200 electrical posts in Bohol and at least 15 backbone lines in Cebu, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines spokesperson Atty. Cynthia Alabanza told TeleRadyo. 

Meralco will send 150 personnel and boom trucks to help restore power in the region, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told President Rodrigo Duterte in a taped meeting that government uploaded on Monday. 

Cusi said electricity has been restored in parts of Cebu for hospitals, government offices, and some business areas. 

"We’re working double time, and hopefully, before Christmas, we can bring give power to more areas," he said in a mix of English and the local dialect during Sunday's meeting in Cebu.

 

The NGCP meanwhile eyes giving a target date for power restoration in Visayas this Monday, after completing its aerial inspection. 
 
“Medyo malaki ho talaga ang pinsalang nadulot nitong si Odette at right now po nakalarga na tayo ng more than 500 line personnel on the ground. Pati ho 'yung mga helicopter natin tumutulong rin 'yan sa restoration,” said NGCP's Alabanza.

(The damage Odette caused is massive and we have deployed more than 500 line personnel on the ground. Even our helicopters are helping in the restoration.)

As for Mindanao, she said NGCP eyed restoring electricity before Christmas in the Agusan and Surigao provinces. 
 
The NGCP later said it has restored power transmission in Samar, Cebu, Leyte, Capiz, Antique, Iloilo, Biliran, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Davao Oriental. 

The power grid operator however clarified that this refers only to transmission services, and not to distribution services or generating capacity. 

"For complete restoration of power, all distribution and transmission facilities and sufficient generating capacity must be available," NGCP said. 

A government official said Friday around 3.16 million Filipinos did not have electricity at home due to Odette. 

--TeleRadyo, 20 December 2021