Gatchalian confident power in Eastern Visayas back in 1-2 weeks

MANILA-- Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian has expressed confidence that electricity in the earthquake-hit Eastern Visayas will be restored in one to two weeks.

Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, made this assurance noting that the Department of Energy (DOE) has assured him that they were on top of the situation in Leyte and the rest of Eastern Visayas.

I've been monitoring the situation in Leyte and on the ground may kausap rin tayo dun (we have spoken to people there). I think over-all naman ang damages sa grid system natin ay minimal lang (I think overa-all, the damages to the grid system is minimal), Gatchalian said in a recent press conference.

The COOPS (The Federation of Rural Electric Cooperatives) are doing their best to get the power up and running so if I'm not mistaken one or two weeks more, he added.

He said that there was no need for his committee to conduct a hearing on the DOE's response to power outages in the region.

The neophyte, senator, meanwhile, pointed out that the bigger challenge for the DOE is to address red tape in the agency.

Leyte is one of the biggest suppliers of geothermal, that's why ang challenge ngayon ay mabawasan na ang red tape para mas dumami ang pumasok na supplies (now is to cut red tape to allow more supplies from entering), Gatchalian said.

The DOE earlier said that full restoration in Eastern Visayas would be made by the end of July but noted that 40 megawatts would be released to the Visayas grid and another 90 megawatts by next week.

Source: Philippine News Agency