By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard
Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Saturday appealed to electric cooperatives from Luzon and Mindanao spared by Typhoon Odette to send linemen and materials to regions affected by the weather disturbance, and assist in the restoration of electric power in the hardest-hit areas.
“In the spirit of unity, I appeal to all coops who were not affected by the onslaught of the typhoon to help in restoring electric power in the areas badly hit by the calamity so we can all have a brighter Christmas,” Marcos Jr. said, minutes after being informed of the extent of damage that the typhoon has left behind.
Earlier, Bongbong thanked all the volunteers who helped in the preparation and distribution of relief packs to affected provinces.
Several localities in Cebu are still trying to determine the extent of the damage from Typhoon Odette, even as it rendered many roads impassable and without electricity, water, and Internet connection.
Odette left six people dead in Mandaue City, a devastating blow to the loved ones they left behind just a few days before Christmas.
Visayan Electric Co., the second largest electric utility in the country, called on their customers for understanding and assured them that they were trying their best to restore power as soon as possible.
“Much as we would like to energize our franchise area right away, the magnitude of the damage caused by the typhoon prevents us from doing so. We will conduct line- clearing operations first before restoring power,” the firm said.
“In these times of difficulty, we ask for our customers’ understanding if we cannot attend to your concerns right away. Our team members are also victims of the typhoon and are also ensuring the safety of their respective families,” the power firm continued.
Edna Inocando, spokesperson of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), said in a local radio interview that normal water supply will most likely return within two weeks.
“This will depend on how fast the Visayan Electric can also bring back the power supply. MCWD is trying to bring generators to our water pumps in order to operate these as soon as possible,” Inocando said.
Marcos said it is in times like this when the country faces difficulty and challenge that the Filipino spirit of “bayanihan” intuitively comes out.
He cautioned residents of the affected areas to avoid downed electric posts and see to it that the cables are not stolen or converted into junks, to hasten the restoration of power which is essential for communication and hospitals.
“We have been to a lot of challenges as a nation in the past, and each time, our spirit of ‘pagkakaisa and bayanihan’ kept us together. We will persevere and we will get through this stronger and more unified,” he said.