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Cebu government lauds Visayan Electric, other partners for help in province’s quick recovery
February 08, 2022
The Provincial Government of Cebu has recognized AboitizPower subsidiary Visayan Electric Co. (Visayan Electric) and other distribution utilities for braving the challenges of restoring power in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette, helping Cebu Province in its quick recovery.
Speaking during the appreciation ceremony hosted by the Capitol on Feb. 7, 2022, Anton Mari Perdices, chief operating officer of AboitizPower Distribution Utilities, underscored how the collaboration between the private and public sectors greatly helped the province in its speedy recovery, particularly in the re-electrification of households in Cebu.
“Something that I picked up from Gov. Gwen was her willingness to help. That’s also what I was able to pass on to the Visayan Electric team. That we’re here to help. Let us know how we can help, what borders we need to cross, what challenges and barriers we need to break. That’s the single thing that really made us turn this city around,” he said in his speech after receiving from Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia a plaque of appreciation on behalf of the Visayan Electric team.
Perdices acknowledged the leadership of Gov. Garcia who set the tone in responding to the problems after the calamity, such as the province-wide blackout, through regular coordination meetings.
Perdices also lauded the over 700-strong manpower comprising Visayan Electric employees and augmentation personnel from other groups, despite also being affected by the typhoon, for working tirelessly through the holidays to ensure Cebuanos would be re-energized as soon as possible.
Help and support
He added that Visayan Electric couldn’t have done the work alone and that the assistance they received from other groups, including various contractors and the Philippine Army, helped them work more efficiently with double to even triple their existing manpower.
“It’s all about the support we received. Now that we have a playbook, we are prepared to face greater challenges in the future,” Perdices said.
Earlier, the Provincial Government extended incentives to linemen of various distribution utilities who helped in the re-electrification efforts in the province. For Visayan Electric alone, 36 of its linemen each received ₱5,000 from the Capitol.
“It’s not that ‘Cebu will rise.’ We have already risen. Close to two months have gone by and I think we are back to normal. For Visayan Electric, we are now close to 96 percent energization,” he noted.
According to Perdices, the distribution utility’s linemen teams are now in the final stretch of their restoration works, focusing on the remote areas outside the city centers.
While restoration activities in these areas require more extensive labor, he said “they won’t stop until all customers in the franchise area are re-energized”.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Government also recognized contractors, haulers, policemen, the Philippine Army, and the Philippine Navy during the appreciation event.
The event was a show of gratitude for their invaluable contributions to the Provincial Government’s restoration and rehabilitation efforts post-typhoon.
In response, Garcia said that although she is just a drop in an ocean, she was able to inspire a collaborative effort in the clearing, distribution of relief goods, and continued rebuilding efforts because of these groups' selflessness. She likened the synergy to a vast ocean of strength as equipment, manpower, and other resources were pooled in the timeless spirit of bayanihan.
“Consul Anton [Perdices] is right. It’s no longer about the future. ‘Cebu will rise,’ no. Cebu has risen once again, proving to one and all why Cebu indeed is the number one province in the entire country today,” Garcia added.The Provincial Government also gave each recipient saplings of the endemic Cinnamon tree or kaningag. The tree, having proven its uses and benefits, is a symbol of Cebu, representing strength and resiliency. The tree also represents a "bond that will never break."