The Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday reported that power has been restored to about 76 percent of households affected by Typhoon Nina.
In a press briefing at MalacaAang, DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said that around 1.3 million of the estimated 1,765, 013 households affected by the typhoon have been re-energized as of January 9.
The Energy official said that all affected households in the provinces of Batangas, Occidental Mindoro, Sorsogon and Camarines Norte have already been restored.
"The provinces that are challenging as far as restoration is concerned are Marinduque with only 21 percent restored so far; Camarines Sur where we're only hitting at 40 percent; and Catanduanes, 20 percent," Fuentebella said.
He said these provinces bore the brunt of Nina.
Fuetebella said that 982 personnel from 52 participating energy companies and distribution utilities have already been deployed through Task Force Kapatid.
He said these personnel -- composed of technical people, linesmen, and engineers -- would be augmented soon to further fast track the restoration work.
In the meantime, power grid operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) is restoring three more power lines in Mindanao, which were damaged by Typhoon Auring last January 8.
These transmission facilities namely Butuan-Placer 138kV line 1, Placer-Madrid 69kV line, and Placer-Surigao 69kV line are already being restored.
The Auring-affected power lines provide electricity to Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Siargao Electric Cooperative, and Surigao del Sur 2 Electric Cooperative.
However, Fuentebella said that bad weather conditions brought about by the low pressure area spotted off Dumaguete City is posing additional challenges to the restoration process in both Southern Luzon and Eastern Mindanao.
"For both typhoon Nina and Auring, it's a challenge for us to have good weather, especially so after the weather bureau issued a red rainfall warning advisory for Bicol," the former Camarines Sur lawmaker said.
Nonetheless, the DOE official said that the restoration process would continue as fast and safely as possible.
"Secretary (Alfonso) Cusi emphasizes that we need to fast track our restoration efforts. However, the priority is safety because when we were out in restoring the damage areas in Northern Luzon because of typhoon Lawin, we lost one of our linemen in Task Force Kapatid," he said.
He said that the fatality was a volunteer Waray lineman who was electrocuted in an accident.
"So we don't want that to happen again," Fuetebella stressed as he emphasized anew the importance of cooperation of everyone concerned in the restoration process.
The DOE has been warning residents in affected areas not to go near toppled power lines to avoid further accidents.
It is also asking residents the cooperation of residents in safeguarding damaged facilities from being stolen.
"We are also reminding our linemen that they should be properly equipped. Let us not rush. Fast is important but safety is primordial," Fuetebella said.
Source: Philippines News Agency