The Daily Manila Shimbun


Palace slams Robredo statement relief operations are “slow”

January 5, 2017

Malacanang slammed on Wednesday Vice President Leni Robredo on her statement that relief operations in typhoon-struck areas seemed slow.

"The remark Ms. Robredo made saying that the relief operations were "slow" suggests a cynical political mindset willing to capitalize on disaster," said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a statement.

Robredo, who belongs to opposition Liberal Party, visited on Tuesday some areas in Bicol Region hit by Typhoon Nina after returning from the United States where she spent her Christmas holidays when the weather disturbance pummeled Luzon.

"One wished she displayed more appreciation of the work of our disaster officials, our social workers, and other volunteers who were on Ground Zero even before Nina made a landfall," Abella said.

He noted as of January 4, a total of P182,473,574 worth of relief assistance has been provided to affected families in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and eastern Visayas, including those who were stranded in various ports in Bicol and eastern Visayas.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development provided assistance worth P166,976,473 while LGUs and non-government organizations (NGOs) provided a total of P4,225,832 and P11,271,270, respectively, he added.

In a separate press conference, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella, citing the report of the National Electrification Administration, said as of Wednesday 10am, status of power restoration for Nina-affected areas stood at 56.86 percent.

Of the 1,765,013 households affected by the typhoon, 1,003,519 have been given power, while 761,494 households were "still waiting to be reconnected," he said.

He admitted the number of those households affected was "tricky" since there were more households in the commercial areas.

Power restoration was being done in the provinces of Quezon, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, and Sorsogon.

Energy Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella said the department’s target for complete restoration of power supply is "before February."

He said priorities in restoring power were those in the commercial areas and government institutions, such as hospitals.

He noted it has been "challenging" to restore power in areas, which are not very accessible.

He said the Department of Energy has sent 982 personnel from 52 participating energy companies and distribution utilities through Task Force Kapatid to help restore power in the affected 99 municipalities and seven cities.

National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) spokesperson Cynthia Perez-Alabanza said her office deployed nearly 600 personnel working 24/7 to attain 100 percent restoration of transmission lines by Wednesday.

NGCP is focusing on the last three transmission service connected to its customers that were still undergoing rehabilitation as of Tuesday, she said. These include Tabaco 20 Megavolt Ampere (MVA) Load-End Substation (LES) serving Albay Power and Energy Corp. (APEC); Malinao 5 MVA LES serving APEC; and Albay Agro-Industrial Development Corp. LES serving Aboitiz Power Renewable Incorporated’s Tiwi Geothermal Plant. Celerina Monte/DMS