THIRTY days after the violent visit of Typhoon Odette (Rai), electricity and water supply have yet to fully return in affected areas in central and southern Cebu.

Telecommunication and internet signals are not at their pre-typhoon strength yet.

Water suppliers and telecommunication companies depend on electricity. If the supply from power distributors is cut off, the flow of water to customers and telcos’ services would also be hampered.

In Metro Cebu, the provider of electricity to households, government offices and business establishments is the Visayan Electric Company.

Visayan Electric has been repairing damaged power lines and toppled poles since the day after the typhoon’s onslaught, with help from linemen of power distributors operating outside Cebu.

As of 12 noon, Friday, Jan. 14, Visayan Electric had restored power to 63.34 percent or 300,392 of its 474,182 affected customers. The power distributor still has to restore power to 173,790 customers in the next 17 days to reach its 100 percent target by Jan. 31.

Visayan Electric serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay and Naga, and the municipalities of Consolacion, Liloan, Minglanilla and San Fernando.

One could either pray or hope that electricity would return before the month ends. Optimism is a lit candle that never melts.

While others are waiting for the return of electricity, several families badly affected by Typhoon Odette have yet to receive their aid.

In Lapu-Lapu City, the City Council had set aside P302 million for the financial assistance.

Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan said the City has an available fund of only P236 million, the original amount set aside by the opposition-dominated City Council but which got vetoed by Chan because the mayor did not want the distribution to happen via barangay officials, but through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).

It was reported that each beneficiary will receive P5,000 either on Saturday, Jan. 15 or on Sunday, Jan. 16


A recent report quoted Mayor Chan as saying that barangay officials and the CSWDO recorded a total of 83,941 persons as beneficiaries, and a total of P419,705,000 is needed so that all beneficiaries would receive the assistance. The City still needs over P183 million to cover all the beneficiaries.

“We already have P236 million from the city; therefore, we only lack P183,705,000. This P183 million, I will look for ways to come up with this,” Chan wrote on his Facebook page.

Aid for typhoon victims should not be held hostage by politicking. The back and forth between Mayor Chan and his political rivals is pure politicking, which is another kind of disaster that badly affected residents have to endure.