Top officials of electric cooperatives in Eastern Visayas have asked power consumers to be patient and stop making harsh comments against linemen tasked to restore electricity damaged by Typhoon “Ursula” (Phanfone).
Electric cooperatives managers said they understand the predicament of member-consumers, however, making or posting foul words against linemen will not help in making their work faster.
“As much as possible, we want to restore power immediately. But as a standard operating procedure in power restoration especially if the house or a building is damaged, that needs to be checked first for safety, which member-consumer should understand,” said Joey Talon, president of Federation of Rural Electric Cooperatives in Region 8 (Frecor-8), in an interview on Monday.
Talon, the general manager of Samar II Electric Cooperative, appealed to consumers to value their efforts and understand their situation.
“Because that is for our safety, to ensure that no one is electrocuted or this will not result in a fire incident,” he said.
Their concern is not only for the safety of power consumers, but also the safety of linemen who are working day and night to restore electricity, added Allan Laniba, president of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives, also the manager of Don Orestes Romualdez Electric Cooperative based in Tolosa, Leyte.
Laniba recalled that during the six-month power restoration after the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, six linemen perished during the restoration process.
“These are stories that sometimes never made it in the news. We don’t want to make grandstanding, what we want is for people to know how our linemen risk their lives just to get the power back to your respective houses and properties,” Laniba told the Philippine News Agency.
In the ongoing power restoration in “Ursula”-affected areas, lineman Raymond Camanse was electrocuted last December 30 while working to energize Caucab village in Almeria, Biliran.
The lineman, although safe now, suffered burns in his arm and had to celebrate New Year in the hospital.
All electric cooperatives in the region have already restored power in primary lines, but some villages are still experiencing power outages after Typhoon “Ursula” toppled several electric posts when it crossed the region on Christmas Eve. (PNA)