ONCE again, electric cooperatives in Central Luzon, and this time with some contingents of linemen from Regions 1, 2 and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) displayed unity and initiative to help typhoon-stricken provinces in Region 5.
It can be recalled that the Bicol region and neighboring provinces were pummeled by strong typhoon “Tisoy.” There were lives taken, properties, crops and livestock destroyed when the weather disturbance wreaked havoc as the month of December sets in.
The Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (PHILRECA), the PHILRECA PartyList and other PartyList groups and the Central Luzon Electric Cooperatives Association (CLECA) under the guidance of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) initiated the "Power Restoration Rapid Deployment (PRRD) Task Force Kapatid: Typhoon Tisoy."
The said task force activity is aimed at helping the Bicol Region and its neighboring provinces in the effort to immediately restore electric power in the said areas. The contingents from the different electric cooperatives as of this writing, are now in the typhoon-ravaged areas erecting poles, replacing power lines and repairing other facilities needed in the distribution of electric power to communities, industries and establishments.
The effort is not easy. The helping electric cooperatives composed of more than 500 linemen and technical personnel with 60 trucks, service vehicles and other equipment would have to replace almost to 3,500 electric poles and numerous power lines.
The “Task Force Kapatid” which is now popularly as “Task Force PRRD” started 20 years ago as “Task Force Kapatiran” under the then NEA Administrator Edita S. Bueno. It was conceptualized after admitting the fact that the country is frequented by typhoons that affect people and the electric power system resulting into power blackouts. The tradition of electric cooperatives helping other electric cooperatives in distress continue to live on with the now Administrator Edgardo Masongsong at the helm.
In a send-off ceremony held last Friday at the Tarlac 2 Electric Cooperative, Inc. (TARELCO 2) in Concepcion, Tarlac, contingent of linemen were told to exercise extra-ordinary diligence and care while doing their mission until before Christmas.
An interviewed lineman who was quite emotional, said that the endeavor is not simple as they will be deployed in far areas and be far from their families. The target date for the completion of the electricity-restoration mission is critical as nobody would want to spend Christmas day away from their respective homes. Of course there is always the risk while doing jobs concerning electricity, but charity comes first.
Meanwhile, Central Luzon Electric Cooperatives Association (CLECA) President Reynaldo Villanueva bid farewell and reminded the contingents to be extra careful in performing their tasks. He appreciated well the sacrifice the linemen had to offer all in the name of public service and the immediate restoration of electric power supply in the Bicol region and the rest of the typhoon-affected areas.
He also emphasized the aim of the Task Force that is to help others in many ways they can. Although the same entails sacrifices, it’s better to be the one helping than the one being helped. After all, nobody would want to be stricken by devastation of any calamity or disaster.
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