ORMOC CITY, Leyte, July 14 (PIA) – “What is very important is really the restoration first of power, energy,” President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) emphasized on Thursday in his visit to quake-hit Kananga and Ormoc City.
Cebu, Bohol, and the whole Eastern Visayas region lost electric power after the 6.5 magnitude earthquake with epicenter in Jaro, Leyte, hit several places in the Visayas region at around 4:03 in the afternoon in July 6.
Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the administrator of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), during the situation briefing held at Ormoc airport, presented to President Duterte and the concerned cabinet members the economic impact of the power outage brought by the 6.5 magnitude earthquake.
He reported a total daily loss of P105M or about P2.1B in 20 days and about P24M in the manufacturing sector including temporary lay-offs.
Jalad added Eastern Visayas will not sustain its double-digit economic growth achieved in 2016 considering the effect of the region’s economy due to the impending power situation.
The NDRRMC chief also recommended the immediate restoration of power in the short term along with comprehensive planning of the energy sector how to make it disaster-resilient.
For DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, the power outage greatly affected businesses in the quake-hit areas considering the high cost for using generator sets which is only a temporary measure undertaken by businessmen for their continued business operations.
DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, who was called by the President to render a two sentences report on the power situation, reported that power restoration has been going on and NGCP is working 24/7.
Cusi announced the full restoration of power on July 31 with the dispatch of 40MW on July 16 and additional 90 MW on July 19 in Leyte.
He said a signed document by both the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for transmission and the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) for generation was made to ensure the immediate restoration of power in the quake-hit affected areas.
Power was restored in the cities of Ormoc and Tacloban hours after the visit of PRRD after the successful energization of NGCP’s two power transformers at its Ormoc Substation late afternoon Thursday and energization of its feeder with 10 MW power. (ajc/rsvictoria/PIA8)