PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered all assets of government to be used for helping Typhoon Odette (Rai)-hit areas in the country, and said he will distribute money for these areas through the military starting Friday, Christmas Eve.
During a 7 p.m. command conference at Mactan Airbase in Cebu Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, Duterte said he had gathered around P10 billion for distribution to typhoon-hit areas.
The money will be distributed by the military to the local government units, with retired Philippine Army general Eduardo Año, now Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary, supervising the highly urbanized areas, Duterte said during his second visit to Cebu in four days.
The President said sea assets of the navy and the Philippine Coast Guard would be used for relief, while other tasks would be farmed out to regional commanders of the Philippine National Police.
He also said there was an urgent need to feed typhoon victims.
As power and water supply slowly return to Cebu, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he would ask for P5 billion from President Duterte for assistance for the speedy recovery of Cebu City from Typhoon Odette.
In his press conference on Thursday, Rama said if given the chance to meet, he would also ask Duterte to use his “pressure power” to speed up the restoration of power in Cebu City and other areas in the franchise area of Visayan Electric Co. after Odette toppled electric poles and caused a province-wide blackout.
Duterte and Rama were scheduled to meet Thursday, seven days after Odette struck Cebu on Dec. 16.
Duterte was expected to go to the Cebu City Sports Center, turned into a command center in Cebu City after the typhoon, before going to Brgy. Tisa to meet with typhoon victims.
The mayor said he would also Duterte to help the city restore its water supply.
Rama said the City’s P1 billion allocation from its calamity fund is not enough for the repair of the damage to housing and infrastructure in the city, estimated so far at P1.7 billion.
At the Mactan command conference, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia informed Duterte that power had been restored to 80 percent of the western side of the province, and that they were now focusing on Argao town in the southeastern seaboard.
Garcia said the Province needed water donations and a C-130 aircraft to bring these to Cebu. She also said the Province needed generators.
As of 9 a.m. Thursday, Visayan Electric said it had energized 5,350 of its 474,182 affected customers, and restored 122 or 22.4 percent of the 544 power line segments within its franchise area.
Later, at 6 p.m., it said it had energized portions of these areas in Cebu City: V. Rama Avenue; B. Rodriguez Avenue; Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue; Nasipit, Talamban; Camputhaw; Capitol Site; Kasambagan; Gen. Maxilom Ave.; Gorordo Ave., to Salinas Drive, Lahug; J. Luna Ave.; N. Bacalso Ave.; Zapatera; Ramos; Carreta; Escano and M. Cuenco Ave., Mabolo; Kasambagan and Camp Lapu-Lapu Road, Apas.
Visayan Electric said that its linemen, together with the engineers and crews from various distribution utilities from all over the country, have been working round the clock to clear lines and restore power at the soonest and safest time.
Visayan Electric has also energized several parts of Mandaue City, its president Raul Lucero informed Mayor Jonas Cortes early Thursday.
According to a Facebook post by the Mandaue City public information office, Lucero informed Cortes that the Tipolo Sub-station is now fully energized and serving parts of Brgy. Tipolo, Subangdaku and Guizo.
Visayan Electric said it will also start energizing the backbone of the Mandaue grid line focusing on hospitals.
In its 6 p.m. update Thursday, Visayan Electric said it had also energized portions of these areas in Mandaue City: Cabancalan; A.S. Fortuna St., Banilad; Maguikay; North Reclamation Area; and Casuntingan and Tingub.
In Lapu-Lapu City, Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan said power was restored on Wednesday at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Matumbo and Mustang areas. On Thursday evening, electricity was expected to be restored in the City Hall and Barangay Pajo from City Hall until the Old Terminal and Mantawi Road.
Chan reiterated his call for the public not to steal electric wires so as not to hamper power restoration efforts.
Visayan Electric has already energized Cebu Doctors’ Hospital, Velez Hospital, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu Puericulture and Maternity House, Miller Hospital, Cebu City Medical Center, and Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City; the University of Cebu Medical Center and Chong Hua Hospital in Mandaue City; and 14 of the 116 pumping stations of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD).
As of 9 a.m. Thursday, 47 percent of MCWD’s production had been restored or 112,800 cubic meters per day. While awaiting energization of its other pumping stations, MCWD is using generator sets to distribute water. (REV, JOB, CTL)