Central Visayas electric firms assist gov’t, consumers amid COVID19 crisis

Published April 24, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Minerva BC Newman

CEBU CITY – Two electric companies in Central Visayas – the Visayan Electric Company (VECO) based in Cebu, and the Negros Oriental II Electric Cooperative (NORECO II) – have stepped up their efforts in helping government in its coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response program in the region.

VECO has boosted the power capacity and energized vital facilities in Cebu that are intended for COVID-19 response. It increased the power capacity at the Department of Health (DOH) Region 7 compound from 30kVA to 150kVA, and also helped set up the metering facility there and installed new 3x500kVA transformers for the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC).

VECO President and Chief Operating Officer Raul Lucero that, aside from providing electricity to its customers, the power firm will always be available and ready to help local government units (LGUs) and government partners, especially during these times of crisis.

Lucero said that the upgrades at the DOH-7 compound and VSMMC were requested to ensure that the facilities have enough power to support COVID-19 testing and other efforts.

The utility company also energized 11 of the 15 checkpoints in Cebu City in response to the request of Cebu City Councilor Philip Zafra to provide the ECQ checkpoints/frontliners with lighting and outlets thus, VECO also provided the wires, LED lamps and outlets for the checkpoints within Cebu City, Lucero bared.

It also energized the quarantine facilities of the city of Cebu at the North Reclamation area and the province’s quarantine facility in Lahug.

VECO serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay and Naga, and the municipalities of Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla and San Fernando.

Meanwhile NORECO II launched the “Pantawid Liwanag” program that will subsidize the consumption of its 34,323 lifeline customers last March.

According to NORECO II Information Officer Sharon Araula, the lifeline residential consumers are those who consume 20 KWh or less. They will not be paying electricity charges for March to lessen the burden brought about by the COVID-19 crisis.

Araula said that NORECO II has allocated P2.7 million for the subsidy of the lifeline consumers under its coverage area. Consumers covered by the subsidy who already paid the March billing, will be allowed to charge this payment to the April bill.

Araula said the implementation of the ‘Pantawid Liwanag’ was in cooperation with the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA), National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives (NAGMEC) and One EC-MCO Movement.