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Huge part of Negros Occ. still in the dark as electric co-ops reel from 'Yolanda' damage

Yolanda easily toppled trees, and scores of electric posts, in Negros Occidental on Friday. NONOY ESPINA, INTERAKSYON.COM
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BACOLOD CITY - Majority of the towns and cities in Negros Occidental are still experiencing brownouts due to lack of power supply from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) and power lines of local elective cooperatives damaged following the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda.

Cheryl Tortal, spokersperson of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO), said in a radio interview that NGCP supplies the electric cooperative only 50 megawatts out of its 130MW load requirement due to generation deficiency. The franchise area covers the cities of Silay, Talisay, Bago and the towns of San Enrique, Murcia and Salvador Benedicto. There is no timetable for the restoration of full power. In Bacolod City alone, more than 50 electric posts were toppled.

In Bacolod, only power supply to reclamation feeders has been restored while five out of the seven Alijis feeders have been energized as well as portions of Gonzaga feeders.

Engr. Sammy Briones of the NGCP said in a text message their office plans to “normalize distribution as soon as we receive the sufficient volume for our hourly demand.” In the meantime, he added, “we have to ration whatever demand volume [is] transmitted to Ceneco.”

Once power is restored, there will be rotating brownouts in order to deploy the limited supply equitably.

As of early Saturday afternoon, power was still out in the cities of Silay and Talisay in the north and Bago in the south.

Tortal said she cannot declare when power supply will be fully restored although the NGCP has informed them that it will shortly start supplying additional power to CENECO from the Panay Energy Development Corp. coal-fired power plants in Iloilo City.

CENECO general manager Sulpicio Lagarde Jr. said in a report that about 50 electric poles under their coverage area have been knocked down and restoration work is ongoing.

In southern Negros, electricity is still out in most areas covered by the Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative (NOCECO) due to lack of power supply from the NGCP.

NOCECO board chairman Joseph Peter Millan said the electric cooperative has already restored damaged electric poles and cleared affected power lines but their problem is also generation deficiency of power suppliers.

So far, only 40 percent of power supply of NOCECO have been restored particularly in areas along San Enrique and Pulupandan towns.

Millan said lights went out in southern Negros at around 3:30 p.m. Friday, but power was restored by 10 p.m. On Saturday, the brownout was reported at 9 a.m. and power has not been fully restored as of press time.

In northern Negros – from E.B. Magalona town to San Carlos City – power is expected to be supplied in the next two to three days in town and city propers, said Atty. Dan Pondevilla, acting general manager of VMC Rural Electric Service Cooperative (VRESCO).

The northern part of the province, especially the cities of Cadiz and Sagay, were the hardest-hit in Negros Occidental.

Pondevilla, however, said electricity may be restored in all areas covered by VRESCO within a week.

Technical personnel from CENECO and NOCECO have been deployed to northern Negros to assist VRESCO personnel in their repair and rehabilitation efforts.

Millan said two teams from NOCECO will be also dispatched to the area.(


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