An engineer along with 19 line workers from the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) will be welcoming the year 2022 in Southern Leyte, away from their families in Northern Luzon to give light to those who were affected by Typhoon Odette.
“We celebrated Christmas along the way while our linemen with their foreman will be left here to help repair toppled power and transmission lines for a month,” said Engr. Noel Andres in a phone interview on Wednesday.
Andres himself joined the team, led by general manager Engr. Felino Herbert P. Agdigos, who personally endorsed the INEC’s personnel with their assigned areas to help while in Southern Leyte.
The team arrived in Southern Leyte on the night of December 28 as it took them three days of travel by land from Ilocos Norte before reaching their destination.
The Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative (Soleco), in a Facebook post, warmly welcomed the team of volunteers from the north.
“We cannot imagine the amount of sacrifice and struggles they have to go through just to reach Southern Leyte. They traveled so far to help Soleco, and with that, we are once again reminded that there are so many reasons to fight and continue this noble advocacy of helping our member-consumer-owners regain their lives that was taken from thereby this calamity.”
Andres said based on the assessment of the Leyte Electric Cooperative (LEYECO), about 80 percent of the typhoon-hit areas have yet to restore their power supply as of today, December 29. These affected areas where the INEC team will be assigned include the towns of Sugod, Baybay, Lilioan, Bato and Maasin in Southern Leyte.
Andres added that the INEC team is part of the initiative of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc. and in close coordination with the office of Senator Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos and the provincial government of Ilocos Norte.
On Wednesday, these linemen, wearing a red shirt with a tagline, “We The North” likewise help in carrying boxes of donated goods from the people of Ilocos Norte, as these were delivered to the people of Southern Leyte, through the Ilocos Norte government’s wing van.
This is apart from an earlier commitment of the Ilocos Norte government to give at least PHP500,000 each to six provinces hard hit by typhoon Odette. These include Cebu, Guimaras, Southern Leyte, Bohol, Negros Occidental, and Surigao del Sur.