• Power restoration in Albay almost complete


    LEGAZPI CITY: Residents here have something to cheer about despite the continued restlessness of the majestic Mayon Volcano.

    The Albay Power Energy Corp. (Apec) on Sunday reported that electricity in 14 municipalities and three cities has been fully restored while power in barangays is 41 percent complete.

    Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said more than 300 electric posts were damaged by Typhoon Glenda that an assistance from power cooperatives from other regions was required.

    Salceda had earlier written electric cooperatives requesting for personnel and equipment to speed up the restoration of electricity in affected areas.

    One of those who heed Salceda’s call was La Union Electric Company (Lueco), who sent four people and some equipment.

    “For Lueco, we sent four personnel and equipment to work their (in Albay) for one month for free to help the areas affected by the typhoon. They (personnel) will stay there at our expense and this would be our help to the people their and the province as well,” Lueco General Manager Bernardo Valero said.

    Valero said other private power companies in Luzon, such as in Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Bulacan also sent their workers and equipment.

    But the Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco) Labor Employees Organization (Aleo) described Apec’s accomplishement as dismal, saying the power restoration should have been completed in a month’s time had the new Albay power owner been efficient in its duties and responsibilities since it acquired Aleco in January.

    On August 16 and 17, Apec reportedly shut down its substations in Tabaco City and nearby Malinao town placing already energized barangays in the first district back to darkness.

    Apec first district area supervisor Clemenia Credo, however, said in a text message that the shutdown was allegedly from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

    But Aleo said the shutdown was a handiwork of Apec not NGCP saying it was a retaliation for barangays energized by the Aleco Union employees without Apec clearance.

    Aleo Secretary Ephraim De Vera said the shutdown threat was contained in an earlier notice from Apec to the first distric municipal mayors citing illegal restoration of power in certain barangays perpetrated by Aleo members who were dismissed by Apec but with return to work order from the Labor department.

    On August 18, former Comelec chairman Harriet Demetriou threatened during a radio interview with Hot FM radio in Tabaco City where she resides that she would file criminal charges of economic sabotage should Apec try another shutdown.

    Demetriou, also a retired Sandiganbayan justice, mentioned Dennis Boragay and Russel Serrano, both operation supervisors 1 and 2 of Apec first district, whom she would charge of economic sabotage.

    Aleo claimed that following Demetriou’s threat which was actually made for Apec, the shutdown has not been repeated.

    De Vera said that Aleo members who were denied the return to work order have joined together assisting in the restoration efforts to energized consumers saying they have 30 linemen doing the restoration works on barangays denied by Apec.

    He said Aleo voluntary works was backed by legal luminaries in Albay.

    Aleo reported that as of yesterday, it had restored power to 17 barangays in the first district adding many barangays still without power have sent them appeal for help.

    Some 60 priests under the Diocese of Legazpi signed an open letter to Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, Salceda and San Miguel assailing the Albay power restoration as dismal.



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