THE Federation of Rural Electric Cooperatives (Frecor) in Eastern Visayas region has declared a state of emergency to allow its members to find other options, such as procurement of mobile/modular generator sets, to restore power supply in quake-hit Leyte as well as in Samar and Biliran islands.
Allan Laniba, general manager of Leyte III Electric Cooperative (Leyeco III), confirmed Frecor's declaration Wednesday, July 12. The federation is composed of 11 electric cooperatives that serve around 600,000 member-consumers in Eastern Visayas.
Majority of Leyte and the islands of Samar, Bohol and Biliran remain isolated from the Visayas power grid as of Wednesday, almost a week after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck Leyte and damaged power generation and transmission facilities.
READ: Power supply still unstable in Visayas
In a statement, the federation demanded that the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) provide ancillary power supply by sending to Eastern Visayas power barges from Cebu and Iloilo.
The group also requested the Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission and NGCP to "review the Transmission Development Plan of NGCP and find alternate ways to climate- or calamity-proof its transmission facilities."
The electric cooperatives further requested Administrator Edgardo Masongsong of the National Electrification Administration to work for more resolute efforts to solve the crisis.
Laniba said the federation issued the declaration after a meeting with NGCP representatives Tuesday, July 11, in Leyte revealed that even if power supply from Cebu becomes available, Eastern Visayas would still be without electricity because transmission facilities in Ormoc were damaged by the July 6 earthquake.
During their meeting, Laniba said NGCP representatives assured that "they have solutions, but they could not give a timeline."
"We are not blaming NGCP (grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines) because this is a calamity. But we ask that they be upfront and tell us the extent of the damage and give us a timeline (for the restoration of the damaged facilities)," Laniba said in a phone interview Wednesday, July 12.
"We are willing to work hand-in-hand with them. We have even offered to provide linemen. They just need to tell us what exactly the problem is," he added.