Time-tested Task Force Kapatid (TFK) remains upbeat on completing power restoration works for Nina-hit areas by early February as its ground personnel now totals 1,074.
TFK-Nina includes contingents from the National Electrification Administration (NEA), 43 electric cooperatives (ECs), and 8 private distribution utilities deployed in the various coverage areas of the eight ECs that were hit the hardest by typhoon Nina. These eight ECs are Quezon I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (QUEZELCO I), Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ORMECO), Marinduque Electric Cooperative, Inc. (MARELCO), Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CASURECO II), Camarines III Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CASURECO III), Camarines IV Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CASURECO IV), Albay Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ALECO), and First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO).
As of January 26, 2017, TFK has already energized 1,548,863 households out of the total of 1,683,012, bringing power restoration level to 92.03%. Meanwhile, cities and municipalities under the franchise areas of the 16 affected ECs are now 100% electrified.
NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said, “Task Force Kapatid will always be indispensable to our efforts to alleviate the plight of our electricity consumers who are often caught in the crosshairs of typhoons and other natural calamities. NEA and the electric cooperatives cannot be in a wait-and-see mode. We always have to be on our toes to ensure that after a calamity strikes, power is given to member-consumer-owners at the soonest possible time.”
“NEA s continuously pursuing service innovations to demonstrate its commitment to uplift the lives of the rural Filipinos. We are one with President Rodrigo R. Duterte in his clarion call to uphold the welfare of the people, especially the poorest of the poor,” Administrator Masongsong added.
All volunteers of TFK-Nina are expected to be pulled out by the end of January, except for Sorsogon I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SORECO I), Sorsogon II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SORECO II), Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CENPELCO), Pangasinan I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (PANELCO I), Pangasinan II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (PANELCO II), and Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ISECO), all of which have committed to extend their deployment in the hard-hit areas of FICELCO.
SORECO I and II will be deployed for another week, while CENPELCO, PANELCO I and II, and ISECO have decided to stay for two weeks.
Similarly, the teams of the Aurora Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AURELCO), Nueva Ecija II Electric Cooperative, Inc.-Area I (NEECO II – Area I), Nueva Ecija II Electric Cooperative, Inc.-Area II (NEECO II – Area II), Peninsula Electric Cooperative, Inc. (PENELCO), First Laguna Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FLECO), and Aklan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AKELCO) have decided to assist in power restoration activities of ALECO until February 7.
Meanwhile, Administrator Masongsong said that an EC Comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan (EC-CDRRMP) is also being finalized by the NEA following a directive from Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to come up with disaster protocols that will lessen the impact of damages to electric infrastructures and accelerate power restoration in calamity-hit areas.
Specifically, the EC-CDRRMP intends to operationalize medium and long-term strategies in ensuring the stability and resiliency of EC distribution system facilities in times of calamities through the conduct of Vulnerability Risk Assessment (VRA) and the development of Emergency Restoration Planning (ERP).
According to the Administrator, “The VRA is geared towards the identification of critical assets and instituting immediate and long-term solution towards a more resilient distribution system, while the ERP is used in ensuring that the operation of the cooperative is maintained under calamity condition and the establishment of different protocols of actions in order to hasten the restoration of the system of the affected EC.”
“These standard operating procedures will be our basis on how to respond to emergency situations and effective carry out post-disaster action, review, and as such, will cover every aspect of emergency planning from the establishment of control and mitigation measures, to the setting up of communication protocols, and the guaranteeing of stocking and material availability,” he said.
He added that policy are also being studied to further streamline the processing of calamity loans for availing ECs. Calamity loans offered by NEA are normally processed within six days, and bear 3.25% interest per annum, with a repayment period of 10 years but not exceeding the remaining franchise life of the EC.
As of January 25, NEA has already extended Php100.678 million in calamity loans to three Nina-affected ECs, namely FICELCO (Php26.580 million), CASURECO I (Php11.805 million), and CASURECO IV (Php62.294 million).
In process as well are calamity loans for MARELCO (Php14 million), CASURECO II (Php24.239 million), and CASURECO III (Php10 million), totaling Php48.239 million.
These ECs are given a maximum grace period of one year to settle their loan obligations, while the amount of loan to be extended depends on the evaluated cost of the rehabilitation and restoration project and the availability of the funds of the NEA.