To expedite the repair of power lines and other damaged electricity infrastructure, Senator Win Gatchalian urged the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to immediately tap the Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund (ECERF) in order to provide relief to electric cooperatives affected by Typhoon Odette.
The Senate Energy Committee Chairperson said ECERF was allocated P200 million for this year.
“Sa lakas ng pinsala ng bagyong Odette, huwag naman sanang umabot pa ng pasko ang brownout sa ilang lugar sa bansa. Nananawagan ako sa NEA na gawan ng paraan ang pinangangambahan ng mga kababayan natin upang makapagdiwang sila ng pasko nang normal,” Gatchalian said.
While it was earlier reported that some areas may have no electricity until Christmas, the Department of Energy (DOE) said it would do its best to restore power in affected areas.
The senator said the immediate restoration of power lines will make it easier to make an accurate assessment of the extent of devastation and the needed coordination for the provision of emergency relief to displaced families.
Gatchalian, principal author and sponsor of the ECERF Law, said that Republic Act No. 11039 was designed specifically to provide immediate financial assistance to electric cooperatives for the rehabilitation of damaged power lines and distribution facilities.
This will also prevent electric cooperatives (ECs) from passing on to consumers the rehabilitation costs in their monthly electricity bills, he said.
“With the existence of this fund program and the availability of funds, we can ensure the normalization of power supply in the affected provinces the soonest possible time,” Gatchalian said.