Charging stations abound in Mandaue, other places in Cebu

·3 min read

THE Mandaue City Government has put up at least four charging stations where residents can charge their gadgets without fees while the electricity is not yet restored due to the onslaught of Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai).

John Eddu Ibañez, executive secretary of Mayor Jonas Cortes, told SunStar Cebu that every individual is allotted with a maximum of an hour to charge their batteries at the designated free charging stations in the city.

Ibañez, a lawyer, said charging stations situated outside the City Hall and Command Center have been operational since Friday morning, Dec. 17, 2021, several hours after the power interruptions.

On Sunday afternoon, Dec. 19, Ibañez said the installation of charging stations in Mandaue City Sports Complex and North Bus Terminal was still ongoing. He said everyone can charge their gadgets, except for motor batteries as it could lead to an explosion just like what happened last Saturday, Dec. 18.

In other places in Cebu, private companies offered free charging of gadgets, while private individuals who own generator sets saw the situation as an opportunity to earn a little money by charging each person P10 to P50 for a fully charged battery.

In Mandaue City, Ibañez said they allow powerbanks, cell phones, electric lights, emergency lights and laptops to be charged for one hour.

Helping residents

When asked if they have enough supply of gasoline or kerosene for their generators, the executive secretary said that suppliers assured them of such and the City prioritizes it as well, since fully charged gadgets is a great help to people.

Ibañez said private establishments in the city are also setting up their charging stations but he is yet to get the list of these establishments.

Ruel Dayanan, a collector assigned in the parking areas of Mandaue City Public Market, said he and his daughter availed of the free charging of the City for their daily use. He said he uses his mobile phone particularly for setting an alarm and flashlight when he report to his work as early as 4 a.m.

Dayanan, 50, said his neighbor has a charging station, but the cost was too much for him because the latter asked for P50 as fee. But he had no idea if the price was for per fully charged gadget or for an hourly basis.

In Barangay Paknaan, others charged the people from P10 to P50 for fully charged gadget, as the price varies for mobile phone, powerbank and laptop. In an interview with Claire Zaire, a resident in the said barangay, she said her family was left with no other choice but to charge their batteries even though one of the charging stations asked for P30 for a fully charged mobile phone and P50 for the powerbank.

Although they cannot use their gadgets for social media or text and call purposes, Zaire said they will use these as flashlights at nighttime. In the absence of power supply, essential things such as flashlights, lamps and fans are selling like hot cakes at the sidewalks in Mandaue City and downtown Cebu City.

Needed water

Meanwhile, Ibañez said they are identifying hydrants owned by water suppliers in the city that they may be able to tap them for residents who badly need water supply.

While everyone is affected by the typhoon, Ibañez urged all the residents to keep on being resilient and help each other by providing others with what they have for free.

“Let’s continue to be resilient and let’s help each other. Katong walay tubig, atong hatagan og tubig (Let us give water to those who do not have it). Kon naa tay extra nga gasolina para sa generator, magpa-charge ta sa atong mga silingan (If we have extra gasoline for our generator sets, let us charge the gadgets of our neighbors),” he said.

He also urged business establishments not to take advantage of the calamity by overpricing their services or products.

“This is not a time to gain profit. But this is a time to help each other,” Ibañez said.

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