Coming Home: EDC Ensures Safe Return Of Employees Stranded Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

Coming Home: EDC Ensures Safe Return Of Employees Stranded Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

Spotlight

Tanza Receives School Building From SM

SM Prime, through SM Foundation, formally turned over a two-story, four-classroom school building to Punta Elementary School (PES) in Tanza, Cavite on November 20, 2020

Legislators Take Steps To End Child Marriage In The Philippines

Because of the increasing cases of child marriage in the last 6 months, Philippine legislators have recently united to end child marriage in the country.

Amid Rising Suicides, A Province Acts To Bolster Mental, Emotional Health

Iloilo province’s “Isip Kalasag” initative aims to combat the rising cases of suicide in Iloilo by “developing, training and capacitating mental health warriors."

World Vision Relief Ops To Cagayan And Isabela Underway

World Vision continues its various relief efforts for communities in Cagayan and Isabela province that have been severely affected the recent typhoons.

One of the toughest challenges one can experience during this COVID-19 pandemic is being stranded and locked down in a distant province away from home. This was the situation that more than 150 employees and contractors of Lopez-led Energy Development Corporation (EDC) found themselves in soon after community quarantine and strict travel restrictions were imposed in many parts of the country in mid-March.

EDC, being the largest renewable energy producer in the Philippines, operates geothermal power plants in key regions and provinces such as Bicol, Negros, Leyte, and North Cotabato; a combined solar and wind power farm in Ilocos Norte; and a hydroelectric power plant in Nueva Ecija. Employees and contractors often travel to or are temporarily assigned to its different sites as part of their work programs.

“With electricity being an essential resource all the more needed now, the company doubled-down on its commitment to keep uninterrupted, life-saving power flowing into the grid, but we also had a duty to keep our plant employees and contractors—our very own frontliners—safe and supported,” explained Ana Marie C. Agapinan, EDC’s extrication project team lead.

Ariel Rogel Ampong, EDC operations excellence support head, was tasked to formulate the transportation plan and movement schedule, optimizing the route plans and minimizing transport risks, along with teammates Josephine Ao and Mheryl Espinosa. “It was truly a concerted effort among several teams in the company,” said Ampong.

The planning began in early April, bringing together representatives from relevant operational units of the company who met twice a week, adjusting plans to consider the guidelines of the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), the requirements of relevant local government units and other guidelines related to travel.

The final number of returnees was reduced to 54 as some have decided to stay in their current site. “Good thing that EDC has comfortable temporary facilities that provide for the needs of employees and contractors who take on the valiant effort of keeping the lights on for our customers and the public despite the pandemic,” said Ampong.

After weeks of careful planning and detailed coordination, a final extrication execution meeting was held on May 23 and the day of return was set for May 25. A chartered flight hopping between Manila, Ormoc, Davao, Dumaguete, and Legazpi was the preferred mode of transportation, but a back-up plan for land and sea travel was also put in place in case quarantine protocols evolved in the interim.

A 46-seater, twin turboprop aircraft chartered from Air Swift originating from Manila flew a total of six legs, picking up and dropping off passengers at various stops, all completed within a span of 12 hours. Passengers who alighted in Metro Manila were also brought straight to their homes in Makati City, Mandaluyong City and the Luzon provinces of Bulacan, Batangas and Ilocos Sur. Many of them endured over 70 days of being stranded before being flown home.

Roxanne Atayde, a geoscientist based in EDC’s Leyte geothermal facility, was worried for her senior citizen parents back home in Bulacan at the start of the lockdown. “I was relieved to know that management was working on an extrication plan while I was also kept very comfortable living in Leyte in the meantime. I am really grateful to EDC for their genuine concern for the welfare of their employees.”

“Throughout this pandemic, we have been guided by our Lopez Values. In particular, the value of Employee Welfare and Wellness which has been at the top of our list since the pandemic started, and this extrication project and all the teamwork it inspired demonstrated that,” said Miguel de Vera, EDC sponsor of the extrication project.

EDC generates 37% of the country’s total renewable energy output and serves about 10% of its overall electricity demand with the company’s total installed capacity of 1,473.3MW. Its 1,181MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 61% of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity, helping put the Philippines on the map as the world’s third largest geothermal power producer.

Quest Journal: Your All-Around Journal

Need a planner that'll match your 2021 goals? Check out the Belle de Jour's power planner!

What Huggies Moms Kryz, Patty, And Isabel Want You To Know About Diapering

Want to learn more about the art of diapering? Check out these tips from Kryz, Patty, and Isabel!

#NasaPusoKoAngPangulo Trends On Social Media

Filipinos turn to social media to express their support for President Duterte and to debunk misconstrued narratives of his absence from public eye

Get Fast, UNLI Internet With Free Devices With Globe At Home

Unstable and slow internet? Let’s solve that problem with Globe At Home’s UNLI plans with free devices and exclusive features!

Loud Noises Banned In Iloilo City

Bawal ang maingay! Penalties await violators of a city ordinance banning loud noises from videokes, karaokes, and other sound systems that can disturb children in their studies.

Gatchalian Pushes For More Funds To Repair Power Lines Destroyed By Typhoons

Sen Win Gatchalian called for more than a 100% increase in an item in the national budget for 2021 that will fund the electric cooperatives' (EC) repair of damaged power lines and infrastructures.

Dagupan Mayor Donates Salary, Bonus As Cash Gift To JOs

Dagupan Mayor Marc Brian Lim has donated four months’ worth of his salary and year-end bonus, to be divided as a cash gift to the city government’s job order (JO) employees.

Globe Expands 5G Coverage In 17 Cities In NCR, Visayas & Mindanao

Expect a faster and more reliable 5G experience as Globe expands its 5G coverage!

Mati City Donates P8-M Equipment To DepEd

The city government of Mati in Davao Oriental donated PHP8 million worth of equipment and materials for module reproduction to the Department of Education.

26 Eastern Visayas Cities, Towns Re-Open Tourism Industry

Planning for your next #travel amid the new normal? These cities and towns in Eastern Visayas have re-opened their tourism industry under the new normal!