CAMARINES SUR – “Generation and transmission facilities are generally back to normal,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi announced Friday (4 January) after the members of Task Force on Energy Resiliency (TFER) inspected Typhoon Usman-hit areas on the same day.
“Our team worked 24/7 even on holidays just to ensure the safety and continual provision of our services to our kababayans who mostly needed energy and other assistance. Nais nating iparating na walang iwanan kahit anong kalamidad pa man ‘yan,” Sec. Cusi relayed.
Sec. Cusi said, “All generation facilities are secured except the diesel-fired power plant in Viga, Catanduanes.” According to the National Power Corporation –the operator of the said plant, flooding in the plant continues to subside and target plant restoration is on 7 January to normalize the power system in the island grid."
On the transmission system, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines reported that it has normalized all affected transmission assets since 31 December 2018.
"In the case of distribution facilities, the remaining households for re-energization account for a total of 8,258 households,” Sec. Cusi informed.
According to the National Electrification Administration (NEA) restoration report, out of the 41 distribution utilities affected, only five (5) electric cooperatives (ECs) covering 17 barangays and 1 sitio are left for restoration.
NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong mentioned that once the places affected by the landslides and floods are readily accessible to the restoration teams, the normalization of the power systems of the remaining electric cooperatives can be completed in seven (7) days.
The energy chief also underlined that “price freeze” applies to household LPG and kerosene for 15 days upon the declaration of the state of calamity in an area. The price freeze declaration means no increase in prices of the affected goods.
DOE Undersecretary Alexander S. Lopez, Usec. Felix William B. Fuentebella, NEA Admin. Masongsong, NEA Deputy Administrator Artis Nikki Tortula, NEA Acting Dir. Eric Villar and Bicol Electric Cooperatives Association President Edwin Lamadrid checked the situation in Bicol region to assess what the other energy needs are in the calamity affected areas.