Electric coops learn lessons from 'Pablo'-A A +A
Friday, January 4, 2013
RURAL electric cooperatives in Mindanao appeared to have learned from Typhoon Pablo that devastated Davao Oriental and Compostla provinces and damaged hundreds of millions of electric cooperative equipment.
The Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative lost about P258 million of equipment mostly poles and other electrical equipment, about P218-million of these destroyed equipment are in the hard-hit Compostela Valley.
Sergio Dagooc, president of the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (Amreco), said that among the valuable lessons learned from these cooperatives would include the provision of storm guys or buntings that help fortify electric poles particularly when they are placed in soft ground such as rice fields.
Another lesson is for electric coops to have stockpiles of electric posts, materials and financial resources to undertake repair work and another vital lesson is to have local government ordinances that prohibits the planting of trees near posts and electric lines.
Dagooc said that electric posts basically can withstand heavy wind, but the problem is when a tree planted near the posts can affect the lines in case they are toppled or their branches break.
He said that Dinagat province has an existing provincial ordinance which bans the planting of trees and shrubs near electric lines or posts.
For Ed Masongsong, general manager of the Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative (Buseco), said the lesson is the institutionalization of Task Force Kapatid organized by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and the Amreco.
He said that under Task Force Kapatid, linemen complete with trucks and tools from 33 rural cooperatives under Amreco were dispatched to calamity stricken areas for rehabilitation work. Buseco linemen were among those who responded to help restore lines in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley provinces.
Joceler Moralda, general manager of the Surigao del Sur Electric Cooperative, describes the calamity as two-in-a-row after Sendong which also hit their area last year. He said the last visit of the typhoon was way back in 1981 when Typhoon Atang ravaged Surigao del Sur.
One of the important lesson according to Moralda is that for the electric cooperative to be prepared logistically and financially.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 05, 2013.