TWENTY-EIGHT days after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette (Rai) that crippled Metro Cebu’s power supply, Visayan Electric has been able to restore power to 61 percent of its affected customers.

As of 12 p.m. Thursday, January 13, 2022, the company reported it has restored electricity to 289,587 of its 474,182 affected customers.

Visayan Electric said power was restored in portions of the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay and Naga and the municipalities of San Fernando, Minglanilla, Consolacion, and Liloan.

The power distributor had targeted to restore power to 30 percent or 142,255 of its consumers by December 31, 2021 and 80 percent or 379,346 of its consumers by January 10.

However, it missed both targets as of 12 p.m. of December 31 as power was restored to only 27.49 percent or 130,371 of its customers.

As of 12 p.m. January 10, electricity was restored to only 50.84 percent or 241,121 of its 474,182 affected customers.

The company aims to completely restore power to 100 percent of its affected consumers by January 31.

Cebu midwest

Meanwhile, some 26 days after Typhoon Odette hit Cebu, the Cebu 3 Electric Cooperative Inc. (Cebeco 3) has restored power to 64 percent of the barangays and 56 percent of the households it serves, it announced Tuesday, January 11, 2022.

As of 3 p.m. Monday, January 10, Cebeco 3 had restored power to 90 of the 134 barangays it serves in the midwest.

It restored power to 85.19 percent of Asturias barangays, 75 percent of Balamban barangays, 65.79 percent of Toledo City barangays, 60 percent of Aloguinsan barangays and 46.15 percent of Pinamungajan barangays.

It had also restored power to three of the 11 barangays in Cebu City that are part of the Visayan Electric franchise mountain barangays which Cebeco 3 serves.

As for households, it had restored power to 59,053 of the 105,452 households it serves, of which 58,905 were in the midwest and 148 in Cebu City.

Asturias and Balamban residents were luckiest with power restored to 87.57 percent and 77.54 percent of their households, respectively; followed by Aloguinsan, 59.24 percent of households; Toledo City, 47.42 percent; Pinamungajan, 34.23 percent; and Cebu City, 3.95 percent.

Earlier, Cebeco 3 had said it targeted 100 percent power restoration by January 31, 2022.

Northern Cebu

As for Cebeco 2, which serves northern Cebu, it had restored power to all barangays in its franchise area as of Monday, January 10, 2022.

Cebeco 2, which serves 13 local government units, said Tuesday that it was now working to reach 100 percent consumer restoration.

As of 12 noon Monday, Cebeco 2 had restored power to 99 percent of its 168,974 customers, leaving just 1,690 customers without power.

Danao City had the most customers without power at 286, followed by Bogo City, 211; Daan Bantayan, 168; San Remigio, 149; Tuburan, 144; Compostela, 124; Medellin, 122; and Carmen, 110.

Having fewer than 100 unenergized customers were Tabogon, 87; Catmon, 83; Borbon, 74; Sogod, 69; and Tabuelan, 63.

Northern Cebu was not as badly hit by Typhoon Odette as the central and southern parts of Cebu.

Odette brought maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 240 kilometers per hour when it slammed into Carcar City in the south last Dec. 16, toppling power poles and lines.

During a meeting with Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia last week, Cebeco 2 general manager Lowell Belciña said Cebeco 2 targeted 100 percent power restoration by Jan. 12, 2022.

Cebu City

In Cebu City, Mayor Michael Rama created “Task Force Zeus” to expedite and make the restoration of power and internet service in Cebu City more efficient.

It also aims to improve coordination between Visayan Electric and telecommunications companies.

The task force headed by Councilor Jerry Guardo will help in clearing roads, especially interior portions, to prepare them for energization.

“I had observed that Veco’s problem is that in certain areas, they cannot connect the mainline right away because for example, there are plants hanging from the wire or the posts have fallen,” Guardo said in Cebuano.

In addition to the Streetlighting Division, the Quick Response Team (QRT) of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Parks and Playgrounds Commission, PLDT, Globe Telecom and Smart Communications are also involved in the Task Force.

Guardo noted such offices have equipment to help clear roads.

“It will be much easier when the area is cleared before Veco (Visayan Electric) enters it,” Guardo added.

Visayan Electric aims to restore 100 percent of Cebu City’s power supply by January 31, 2022 at the latest. (CTL, REV)