• Still no power in some areas of Tacloban City

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    TACLOBAN CITY: Three months after Super Typhon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) hit Central Visayas, many survivors are still without power.

    According Angelo Bacho, Office of Civil Defense regional assistant
    operations chief, power supply in some areas of Tacloban City has yet
    to be restored due to lack of manpower.

    “Kulang talaga ang manpower kaya hindi maibalik agad ang kuryente sa
    lalawigan [There is not enough manpower to efficiently carry-out power
    restoration efforts in the province],” Bacho told The Manila Times.

    But, he admitted that although all the affected towns have been
    energized, it might take more time before power is restored to all
    households.

    While the city’s business center and vital institutions, like
    hospitals, are now powered up, only 36.87 percent of its 35,937
    households have electricity at the moment.

    That’s roughly 13, 251 households, the Leyte II Electric Cooperative
    (Leyeco II) said on its restoration update dated February 16, 2014.

    The 16.91 percent represents member-consumers in the town Palo which
    is equivalent to 11, 140, and 82.85 percent represents the town of
    Babatngon, Leyte which is equivalent to 3, 988 households.

    The Leyeco II covers the whole city of Tacloban and the Municipalities
    of Palo and Babatngon Leyte.

    As to the number of barangays, the Leyeco II said, of the 196
    barangays in its coverage area, 66.84 percent or 131 were already
    energized and 33.16 percent equivalent to 65 barangays remain
    unenergized.

    Of the 138 barangays in Tacloban City, 68.12 percent or 94 of the
    barangays have been energized and 331.88 percent or 44 remain
    unenergized.

    In Palo, Leyte, of the 33 barangays, 51.52 percent or 17 barangays have
    not been restored.

    In Babatngon, of the 25 barangays, 84 percent were already energized.

    Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla earlier promised to fully restore
    electricity to typhoon-hit areas by Christmas Eve, otherwise he will
    resigned from his post.

    But come December 24, there were still some areas in the Visayas that
    had no power.

    In an earlier interview, the Energy secretary had explained why this was so.

    “In Tacloban, you have partial places with electricity, and the reason
    why I say partial is because the houses, okay, some of the houses and
    the buildings and establishments have no electricity simply because
    they’re not ready to receive energy at this point. In other words,
    their electrical systems are still in shambles,” Petilla said.

    He added that “power has been restored in all but the most far-flung
    town centers.”

    Meanwhile, Malacanang had said “there is no reason to remove Energy
    Secretary Jericho Petilla from office amid a promise he will bring
    back power in Yolanda-hit areas by Christmas.”

    Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. pointed out
    that a big part of Eastern Visayas now has power, which President
    Benigno Aquino 3rd saw for himself. CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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