NEA taps electric coops to restore power in Marawi

MANILA -- To speed up rehabilitation of Marawi City, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) teamed up with various electric cooperatives and allied organizations in an effort to restore power in the battle-damaged city.

Together with Housing Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr., field manager of Task Force Bangon Marawi, NEA chief Edgardo Masongsong led the launching ceremony of the Marawi Power Restoration Rapid Deployment (PRRD) Task Force at the Lower Capitol Complex.

The Marawi PRRD Task Force is composed of the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (Amreco), the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (Philreca), the National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (Nagmec), the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO), and other allied organizations.

Masongsong thanked the different electric cooperatives for responding to the call to help the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Lasureco), currently under the management of Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power.

NEA is mobilizing 34 electric cooperatives all over Mindanao to help Lasureco and the Marawi PRRD Task Force.

The NEA chief estimates that power will be completely restored in 15 to 30 days.

We believe that our united effort to help our brethren living in this part of Mindanao -- Marawi City and the whole of Lanao del Sur -- will bring the development that we wanted," Masongsong said.

Masongsong also announced that the agency is initially extending a loan of PHP150 million to Lasureco for the procurement of construction materials to build the distribution lines.

The NEA chief said the loan would be converted into subsidy chargeable to the funds for the reconstruction of Marawi.

He said he had instructed lawyer Goldelio Rivera, Deputy Administrator for EC Management Services, and engineer Artis Nikki Tortola, NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services, to process the loan.

"We are extending a loan to the tune of PHP150 million so that Lasureco, the Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power, will be able to procure (the necessary construction materials)," Masongsong said.

Meanwhile, Amreco and Nagmec have initially vowed to deploy crew and equipment.

Amreco president Felix Vergara, Jr. said ECs in Visayas and Luzon, which would also want help in the power restoration efforts, could do so in the form of financial assistance.

I advised those cooperatives in Luzon and Visayas who want to help that they could send financial support if they find it impractical to send crew and equipment, Vergara said.

Source: Philippine News Agency