POWER BACK IN 87% OF EASTERN VISAYAS

DECEMBER 18 -With just a week before Christmas, energy officials are lighting up towns in typhoon-devastated Eastern Visayas, reconnecting electricity cooperatives and local power distributors to the grid. And their job is 87.6 percent done. National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) and the Department of Energy (DOE)-National Electrification Administration (NEA) have reconnected 212 of 242 towns and cities, with more expected to be “energized” by Christmas Eve, according to the DOE. Among the towns not covered by NGCP, the DOE, citing NEA data, said the Busuanga Electric Cooperative had reenergized Linapacan town, with Coron, Cullion and Busuanga to follow. The Camotes Island Electric Cooperative has yet to reenergize the four towns it serves, the department said. The Biliran Electric Cooperative (Bileco) and the seven areas in its franchise had not been reconnected as of Dec. 13, the DOE said. (Photo -Sto. Niño Parish Church in Tacloban City with simple lanterns to start celebrate Christmas.)

ALSO:  Ban Ki-moon here to see extent of Yolanda damage

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was welcomed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last night. Ban is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on President Aquino today then fly to Tacloban to see for himself the extent of damage caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda to the city.

ALSO: ‘Yolanda’ victims get shelter kits

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), assisted by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), handed over an initial donation of 500 shelter kits each containing handsaw, rope, nails, shovel, hoe, machette, shears, tie wire, claw hammer, polyethelene bag and cardboard fold to Supertyphoon “Yolanda” survivors of Barangay (village) Maya, DaanBantayan, Northern Cebu, to help families rebuild their homes.

ALSO:
Shopping mall branch reopens in Tacloban

In what could be considered a sign of normalcy in this typhoon-ravaged city, the branch of one of the biggest shopping malls in the country has reopened for business, although on limited operations only. Robinsons Place Tacloban, one of the commercial establishments heavily looted the day after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” occurred, has reopened for business. The progressive development leaked after Robinsons Place, Tacloban announced re-opening schedule on December 19, 2013 and among the mall’s store set to re-open are the following; Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Department Store, Handyman Do It Best, Robinsons Appliances, Toys R Us Toybox and Daiso Japan.


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POWER BACK IN 87% OF EASTERN VISAYAS

MANILA, DECEMBER 23, 2013 (INQUIRER) By Riza T. Olchondra - With just a week before Christmas, energy officials are lighting up towns in typhoon-devastated Eastern Visayas, reconnecting electricity cooperatives and local power distributors to the grid. And their job is 87.6 percent done.

National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) and the Department of Energy (DOE)-National Electrification Administration (NEA) have reconnected 212 of 242 towns and cities, with more expected to be “energized” by Christmas Eve, according to the DOE.

NGCP operates the country’s transmission superhighway while the NEA supervises the country’s electric cooperatives.

As of the weekend, the DOE said, NGCP has reconnected 12 of 19 communities under Aklan Electric Cooperative (Akelco), 15 of 16 areas under Antique Electric Cooperative (Anteco), 16 of 17 communities under Capiz Electric Cooperative (Capelco) and all 15 areas under Iloilo II Electric Cooperative (Ileco II).

It has also reconnected all 13 areas under Iloilo III Electric Cooperative, all nine areas under VR Electric Cooperative, all three areas under the Bantayan Island Electric Cooperative, all 13 areas under Cebu II Electric Cooperative, six of 13 areas under DOR Electric Cooperative, all three areas under Leyte II Electric Cooperative, three of nine areas under Leyte III Electric Cooperative (Leyeco III);

All six areas under Leyte IV Electric Cooperative, 10 of 12 areas under Leyte V Electric Cooperative, 18 of 19 areas under the Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative, all 12 areas under the Samar I Electric Cooperative, all 16 areas under Samar II Electric Cooperative, all 24 areas under Northern Samar Electric Cooperative, and 18 of 23 areas under the Eastern Samar Electric Cooperative.

Few left powerless

Among the towns not covered by NGCP, the DOE, citing NEA data, said the Busuanga Electric Cooperative had reenergized Linapacan town, with Coron, Cullion and Busuanga to follow. The Camotes Island Electric Cooperative has yet to reenergize the four towns it serves, the department said.

The Biliran Electric Cooperative (Bileco) and the seven areas in its franchise had not been reconnected as of Dec. 13, the DOE said.

Joseph Ferdinand M. Dechavez, special assistant to NGCP president Henry Sy Jr., said the Milagro-Lemon-Biliran 69kV line was energized on Dec. 15 and Bileco, which serves the whole island of Biliran, had been reconnected.
NGCP said that as of the weekend, only the Leyeco III has not been reconnected to the grid.

Dec. 24 or bust

“Transmission lines serving the rest of the cooperatives and utilities in Eastern Visayas are fully operational,” Cynthia Alabanza, spokesperson for NGCP, said.

Earlier this month, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla vowed to “reenergize” town and city centers in the typhoon-ravaged communities by reconnecting them to the grid.

He also told reporters in Leyte that he would quit if he failed to deliver by Dec. 24.

Ban Ki-moon here to see extent of Yolanda damage By Pia Lee-Brago (The Freeman) | Updated December 21, 2013 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 6


Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario welcomes United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon upon his arrival at the NAIA Terminal 1 last night. RUDY SANTOS

CEBU, Philippines - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was welcomed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last night.

Ban is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on President Aquino today then fly to Tacloban to see for himself the extent of damage caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda to the city.

The UN has been an important partner of the Philippines in mounting an immediate and comprehensive humanitarian response to people affected by the strongest storm ever to make landfall in history.

“The Secretary General’s visit marks the continuing cooperation between the Philippine government and the United Nations, especially at this time when we begin recovery and reconstruction efforts,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Last Wednesday, the Philippine government launched the Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY), a P361-billion recovery and reconstruction plan for areas affected by the super typhoon.

An operational framework, the RAY presents the results of the preliminary assessment of damage, loss and needs by affected sectors, according to Del Rosario.

It also outlines the core principles, strategies and mechanisms in reconstruction and recovery, and is a phased, cumulative, and flexible response to address the impact of the super typhoon, he added.

The estimated total investment requirements for recovery and reconstruction shall cover shelter and resettlement (P183.3 billion), public infrastructure (P28.4 billion), education and health services (P37.4 billion), agriculture (P18.7 billion), industry and services (P70.6 billion), local government (P4 billion) and social protection (P18.4 billion).

‘Yolanda’ victims get shelter kits Philippine Daily Inquirer 7:43 am | Friday, December 20th, 2013


A typhoon survivor takes a bath beside donated tents at typhoon-ravaged Tolosa town, Leyte province, on Dec. 9, 2013. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, assisted by the Philippine Red Cross, handed over an initial donation of 500 shelter kits to Supertyphoon “Yolanda” survivors of Barangay Maya, DaanBantayan, Northern Cebu, to help families rebuild their homes. AP

MANILA, Philippines—The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), assisted by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), handed over an initial donation of 500 shelter kits each containing handsaw, rope, nails, shovel, hoe, machette, shears, tie wire, claw hammer, polyethelene bag and cardboard fold to Supertyphoon “Yolanda” survivors of Barangay (village) Maya, DaanBantayan, Northern Cebu, to help families rebuild their homes.

IFRC president Tadateru Konoe of Japan and PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, accompanied by other IFRC and PRC officials, flew to Northern Cebu, Tacloban and Bohol to oversee the relief operations of the Philippine Red Cross in areas devastated by Yolanda.

The international humanitarian organization pledged to sustain the assistance to areas in Eastern Visayas to help advance rehabilitation efforts there.

Shopping mall branch reopens in Tacloban By Joey Gabieta Inquirer Visayas 10:30 pm | Friday, December 20th, 2013


The progressive development leaked after Robinsons Place, Tacloban announced re-opening schedule on December 19, 2013 and among the mall’s store set to re-open are the following; Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Department Store, Handyman Do It Best, Robinsons Appliances, Toys R Us Toybox and Daiso Japan.

TACLOBAN CITY—In what could be considered a sign of normalcy in this typhoon-ravaged city, the branch of one of the biggest shopping malls in the country has reopened for business, although on limited operations only.

Robinsons Place Tacloban, one of the commercial establishments heavily looted the day after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” occurred, has reopened for business.

“This is our way of showing love to the Taclobanons who patronize Robinsons and, at the same time, helping them during this time of calamity, as we offer our items at regular prices,” said Sweet de Paz, shopping mall operations manager on Thursday.

The prices of goods sold in the public market and in grocery stores in Tacloban City have skyrocketed after Yolanda devastated the city.

A 10-milliliter bottled water that cost only P15 are being sold at P30 to P50 while the price of a 1.5-ml soft drink that used to cost P40 has increased to P100. A bath soap that usually sells at P20 is now priced at P50 to P60.

At Robinsons, the prices of goods and commodities will stay at the pretyphoon levels but its business operations will be limited, since the mall opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m., said De Paz.

She also said only their affiliate stores had opened at the mall, namely, the department store, supermarket, Handyman and Toy “R” Us.

During its reopening on Thursday, hundreds of people lined up to enter the shopping mall, as only 100 people were allowed to enter the mall every 30 minutes.

“There is nothing much to see inside. That is why we have decided to limit the number of people,” de Paz said.
Carmen Ditchon, 46, said she went to the shopping mall as early as 7 a.m., hoping to get inside early and return home immediately.

“I was surprised that so many people were trying to get inside the mall. But I am happy that they decided to reopen again,” she said.

Aside from the regular security guards, the management had also sought police assistance. Over 10 policemen were assigned to the mall during the opening to ensure the security of the people and the mall itself.

De Paz, however, declined to comment on the looting incident that took place inside their shopping mall after Yolanda.

She also disclosed that Robinsons Place in Tacloban City would fully operate only in April next year after all the repairs of the mall are completed. The mall’s main roofing system as well as the glass and display walls on its second floor were damaged during the typhoon.

The other malls in the city, such as Gaisano Capital Tacloban and Gaisano Central that were also among those heavily looted, have yet to announce when they will reopen.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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