Visayan Electric open to collaboration for more resilient future

·3 min read

IN LIGHT of the progress made by affected communities after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in 2021, Visayan Electric Co. (Visayan Electric) has highlighted the opportunity for further collaboration toward a more resilient future.

This came on the heels of the Cebu-based power firm’s deployment of augmentation crews to help with power restoration in two Bohol towns last June, which a company executive said emphasized the benefits of synergy among various sectors.

“Whether we were on the giving or receiving end of assistance in the aftermath of Odette, one thing was clear. One can go far alone but can go farther with the help of others,” Visayan Electric President and Chief Operating Officer Raul C. Lucero said.

Visayan Electric, an AboitizPower subsidiary, sent two groups of 10 linemen to the towns of Buenavista and Getafe last month. The team was there from April 21 to June 3.

These towns had gone almost five months without stable electricity, with a few far-flung villages experiencing it for much longer. Local utilities had to implement power rationing during this period.

By the end of the team’s stay, they had repaired and put up 163 electric poles, repositioned 15 transformers, and fixed power lines spanning 45 kilometers, helping energize dozens, if not hundreds, of households across these places.

Lucero earlier said that this was their way of paying forward the help Visayan Electric received from other distribution utilities during their time of need.

He added that the next logical step would be to explore other areas of cooperation. This can include, among others, sharing knowledge, expertise, and best practices between distribution utilities and electric cooperatives across neighboring provinces to respond better in future emergencies.

The executive also pointed out that work goes beyond the mandate of electric utilities, going on to say that preparedness and resilience are things all sectors must work together to achieve.

Bohol First District Representative Edgardo Chatto told Visayan Electric representatives that he “looks forward to more partnerships [with Aboitiz] in the future.”

He thanked the Aboitiz Group for their support, further stating that the Visayan Electric utility crews helped bring stable power back to many homes and businesses.

“They say that adversities bring out the best and worst in people. This collaboration between electric cooperatives is very much appreciated as it displayed Bayanihan and immediate response to power consumers,” Chatto said.

Earlier, news reports stated that agriculture suffered the brunt of the typhoon, with damaged pegged at over P3 billion as of the end of December 2021. The tourism sector, which is considered the island’s bread and butter, also incurred losses estimated at around P430 million as of January this year.

“We are very thankful to Aboitiz and Visayan Electric for helping us in these difficult times through their quick response in restoring our damaged power lines,” said Chatto.

The congressman pointed out that power is vital to development since many industries that economic growth is hinged on require stable electricity, including agriculture and tourism.

“Power sufficiency in Bohol will be a game-changer in terms of opportunities for growth,” he added.

Chatto said that more than six months since the devastating typhoon, Bohol is regaining momentum with businesses and the tourism sector thriving once again. (PR)

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