To finally break off the brownouts’ agony of roughly half-a-million more of its customers, power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) indicated that it will target full electricity service restoration by Sunday (November 15).
Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga stated that it will be a grueling work ahead for their crews and technical personnel, especially in areas submerged in floodwater, but he said they will step up on their repair works in the coming days.
“It’s tough to say, but hopefully by Sunday we would be able to go back to normal operations,” he stressed, when asked on a timeframe on the return of power supply in all affected homes and establishments within their franchise area.
He explained that “restoration may take a little longer for areas with severe flooding and where Meralco’s distribution facilities sustained heavy damages such as toppled poles, downed wires and damaged transformers.”
Nevertheless, the Meralco executive gave word that “our line crews will continue with the restoration works,” as he appealed to their customers for understanding and patience, especially on the pace of repair works being carried out in severely affected areas.
As of noon on Friday (November 13), Meralco reported that the magnitude of its customers still experiencing brownouts had been at 477,451- which entailed that the power firm already brought back electricity services to more than 3.3 million subscribers out of the 3.8 million affected at the height of typhoon Ulysses’ battering.
In Metro Manila, customers that have yet to regain their power back stood at 80,955 and the bulk had been in heavily flooded Marikina with 52,997 customers still without electricity. The others are in Quezon City, San Juan, Pasig, Valenzuela, Malabon,Taguig, Makati, Caloocan, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Manila, Paranaque, Pasay, Navotas, Pateros and Mandaluyong.
The other Meralco-served areas still wrought with disrupted electricity services had been those in: Bulacan for 282 customers; Cavite for 283 customers; Rizal for 43,321 customers; Laguna for 6,007 customers; Quezon province for 1,581 customers; Batangas for 33 customers; and Pampanga which just had one customer left without power.
On the part of the regional power utilities, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) reported that 34 ECs in 24 provinces had been adversely affected by the recent weather disturbance – and these were in Regions I, II, III, the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon (CALABARZON) region, Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan (MIMAROPA), Region V and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
The specific electric cooperatives affected were those in: Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province, La Union, Pangasinan and Ilocos Sur in Region 1; Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya in Region II; Aurora, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales and Nueva Ecija in Region III.
The other provincial areas affected by the power outages were those in Quezon, Laguna, Batangas; Tablas Island in Romblon; Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay and Ticao Island in Masbate.
The electrification agency specified that the ECs in the provinces of Pangasinan, Aurora, Pampanga, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte had disrupted services because of unavailable transmission facilities.
For the Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative (ISELCO and Tarlac I Electric Cooperative, these already returned to normal operations after a brief service disruption during the typhoon.