AboitizPower's VECO crew helps restore power in Pablo-hit areas

In the wake of Typhoon Pablo in December, Visayan Electric Company (VECO), the Cebu-based power distribution utility of AboitizPower, immediately dispatched teams to hard-hit areas in Mindanao. VECO sent two groups of emergency crews to Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur to help restore electrical lines after Pablo left these areas in total darkness, and with flooded streets, fallen poles, and broken wires.

"Pwerteng pa-ita sa kahimtang sa mga tawo didto. Kami sad mismo ang nanabang, pwerte sang pa-ita. Rain or shine man among trabaho. (The situation of the people there was terrible. Our situation was also bad. Rain or shine, we had to work),” said VECO lineman Robert Olaer. After traveling for 17 hours from Cebu, the emergency response team speedily started hole-digging, pole erection and line stringing works. They stayed for a total of 5 weeks from December 8, skipping Christmas with their families just to help bring back power to these areas.

Damage to the franchise area of Davao Oriental Electric Cooperative (DORECO) was estimated at P139 million. A total of 183 barangays were severely hit in the municipalities of Baganga, Cateel and Boston. DORECO's 3.75-MVA and 2.5-MVA power transformers in Cateel and Baganga, respectively, were without power.

The franchise area of Surigao del Sur Electric Cooperative's (SURSECO I) experienced total blackout after the typhoon damaged 217 poles. Severely hit were Bislig City and the Municipality of Lingig with the total damage amounting to an estimated P8.5 million.

"The timely assistance and prompt response of VECO was very instrumental in the swift restoration of electric service in the worst hit areas. Without VECO's invaluable support, reconstruction would have taken months, causing a delay in the restoration of power," said the president of DORECO's board of directors Luisito Gregorio.

“We are honored to have linemen from VECO who dedicated themselves to this initiative. VECO's sister company, Davao Light and Power Company, also provided support. Their joint efforts are a testament to how they are committed to serve not just their respective franchise areas, but also in communities where they can extend help,” AboitizPower EVP and Distribution Group COO Jim Aboitiz said.

“AboitizPower has been doing business in Mindanao for close to 80 years. We continue to be steadfast in being the region's partner for progress,” Aboitiz added.

Power was completely restored in all municipalities and barangays of Surigao del Sur and Bislig City by December 20, 2012. "Full restoration was achieved earlier than expected with the help of the linemen from VECO," said SURSECO I General Manager Joceler Moralda.

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