Petilla sets meeting with Aquino today
Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla plans to hand his resignation to President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Thursday after he failed to restore power in the places devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda in November.
Reports that Petilla was resigning circulated on Wednesday. The Manila Times tried to get his comment but he could not be reached.
The Energy chief had vowed to quit if he did to energize all typhoon-affected areas by Christmas Day.
He was quoted in an interview he wanted to meet with the President to turn in his resignation.
Two Palace spokespersons, Secretary Edwin Lacierda and Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., both said they were unaware of Petilla’s plan.
“No info on that. Will have to be verified,” Coloma replied to The Manila Times’ text query on the resignation issue.
Lacierda reserved comment until after Petilla meets with the President.
“Let us wait for the conversation between the President and Secretary Petilla to take place first,” Lacierda said.
Observers said it was unlikely for the President to accept Petilla’s offer to resign because there were only at least two towns left without electricity as of Christmas Day.
“We are still trying, but I don’t want to push my people as they did not even have Noche Buena last night. But this will be a continuing effort,” Petilla was reported to have said.
The Department of Energy (DOE) reported on Monday that 98 percent of “backbone lines” in affected areas are functioning, but electricity has yet to be distributed among households for safety reasons.
The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), which operates the country’s power transmission system, said Wednesday that power in the Visayas was close to being fully restored.
“All NGCP transmission lines connected to all distribution utilities in the Visayas area have been restored as of today,” it said in an account on the social media.