Briones: Show of gratitude - SunStar

Briones: Show of gratitude

by Publio Briones

(On the go)

Only 16.82 percent or 79,782 of Visayan Electric Company customers are still waiting for the return of their power supply more than a month after Super Typhoon Odette plunged Metro Cebu and the southern part of the province in the dark.

I expect more households to have their power restored over the weekend.

No mean feat really when you consider that Visayan Electric’s franchise service, which covers an area of about 672 square kilometers all the way up to Liloan in the north and San Fernando in the south and pretty much everything in between, was severely affected by one of the strongest storms to hit Cebu this century.

Their linemen have worked tirelessly since day one, fixing broken wires and replacing toppled poles and busted transformers and whatnot. Of course, it helped that power distributors from outside Cebu deployed linemen here to help.

The company “aims to completely restore power to 100 percent of its affected consumers by Jan. 31, 2022.”

By the way, it’s not only Visayan Electric that has been doing a great job. The Cebu Electric Cooperative (Cebeco) 1 and 3, which cover the south and midwest of the province, respectively, have also been pushing their men to the limit so households in their franchise service would have power.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 11, Cebeco 3 had restored power to “64 percent of the barangays and 56 percent of the households it serves.”

I don’t have any figures for Cebeco 1 but I know that in Argao, there is power along the highway and in some barangays. According to my relatives, that is.

I still remember when Argao Mayor Allan Sesaldo arrived at the meeting that Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia convened at the Capitol with different stakeholders two days after Odette struck. He reported that 90 percent of the power poles in the town had been toppled.

Again. I don’t need to remind you about the extent of the damage in the south, which bore the brunt of Odette’s fury. Many of you were there.

It’s only fair to say that what these electric utilities have achieved is short of a miracle. And we the public should acknowledge their hard work and dedication. It’s the least we can do.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia had announced that the Provincial Government would provide a cash incentive of P5,000 to linemen of Cebeco 1, 2, 3 and Visayan Electric.

If I’m not mistaken, Cebeco 2, which serves 13 local government units in the north, had already restored 100 percent of power in its franchise service but only because the north wasn’t as badly hit as the rest of the island.

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