16,657 still without electricity

Published November 22, 2020, 9:21 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Meralco cites extent of damage on power facilities

At least 16,657 customers of power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) remain without electricity several days after Typhoon “Ulysses” left a swath of destruction in Luzon.


In Bulacan alone, 15,899 customers have yet to gain their power service back. Other areas yet to have full electricity service restoration also included customers in Rizal; Pampanga; as well as Valenzuela and Marikina
cities that were plagued with flooding during the weather disturbance.

Meralco and the country’s electric cooperatives (ECs) are still working round-the-clock to complete electricity service restoration in the areas devastated by Ulysses.

Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga nevertheless explained that bringing back power supply in some areas, including Bulacan, turned out trickier than earlier anticipated because of the scale of damage on the power facilities, as well as physical hurdles, like flooding.

“While restoration efforts are still ongoing in these areas like remaining portions of Bulacan, toppled poles, downed wires and damaged transformers and the severe flooding in some of these areas continue to affect the pace of restoration,” he said.

Zaldarriaga further emphasized “re-energizing these areas, particularly those that have been severely flooded, could pose more danger to our linemen and most importantly our customers, hence, we proceed with extreme caution before restoring power back.”

The Meralco executive assured that the power company is working double time “on bringing back the electricity services of the last remaining 16,657 franchise customers,” which accounts for 0.247 percent of the utility firm’s customer base.

Zaldarriaga further called on end users still suffering power interruptions to reach out to the company either through its hotline 16211 or through its social media platforms.

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) reported Friday evening that power service restoration by the electric cooperatives in typhoon-hit areas already reached 74.42 percent; out of the total 473 cities and municipalities that experienced brownouts.

The electrification agency noted the regional power utilities still having lower rate of service restoration – at the range of 9.38 percent to 63 percent – had been those in Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Albay, and Nueva Vizcaya.

For the other affected areas in Aurora, Quezon, Camarines Norte, and parts of Camarines Sur, NEA indicated that power supply restoration was already at a magnitude of 70 to 89 percent.

The cities and municipalities that so far regained power supply at the scale of 99 to 100 percent had been those in Mountain Province, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Pampanga, Zambales, Nueva Ecjia, Sorsogon, Tablas Island, Ticao Island, Isabela, Quirino, Tarlac, Quezon, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Ifugao, Benguet, and Kalinga.