Fallen PALECO electric post after typhoon Odette. (PN File)

The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) expects that the arrival of additional linemen and technical personnel from Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon as additional manpower under Task Force Kapatid will expedite the restoration of power in Palawan, which was knocked out on December 17 by Typhoon Odette.

According to a list issued by PALECO, a total of 79 personnel from 10 electric cooperatives will arrive in the city to assist with the restoration of power.

Acting general manager (AGM) Engr. Federico Villar, Jr. said the first batch of the task force will be assigned in the northern municipalities, to augment the PALECO team whose restoration efforts are underway.

Truck of First Laguna Electric Cooperative which is one of 10 electric coops part of Tak Force Kapatid to help PALECO in power restoration. (Photo from Palawan Electric Cooperative Facebook page)

“Mga apat na limang teams, I think. They will be helping in the northern service areas ng PALECO. Mga isang buwan po yan… ang minimum schedule nila dito, and then kung kailangan pa silang mag-extend, then we can request na extended,” he said.

Villar said that as of current, PALECO has made over 80% progress in restoring power in its service areas in Palawan, but clearing fallen trees remains a struggle.

He also stated that based on their estimates, full restoration of power will happen in far-flung sitios of Roxas, Araceli, and Dumaran in February, while those in center areas will be by January.

“Most of the cause of damages ng facilities ng PALECO yong pong bumagsak na puno over the facilities, ‘yan talaga ang challenges.—kasi usually ang ating power lines ay dumadaan ‘yan sa highway, sa highway mapuno ‘yan. Lalo na sa interior municipalities, barangays, tapos sitios,” he said.

In a text message, spokesperson Claire Guludah confirmed Thursday night that the arrival of the first batch will be early Friday morning, December 31.

“Nasa laot pa, tomorrow ang dating,” she said.

In a Facebook post, Director Moises Arzaga, Jr. stated that the Task Force Kapatid’s support will help shorten the restoration period, which was previously estimated to last until February 2022.

More linemen from sister electric cooperatives will arrive in the city after the first batch in the coming days, he said.

“They will be leaving their hometown and families this New Year so that our Kasimanuas’ power will be restored the soonest,” he stated.

PALECO’s projected cost of damages caused by Odette is already over P132 million, said Villar.

“In collaboration with ng lahat ng empleyado lalo ng ng technical services—nagkaroon ng preparation na whether or not tumama si bagyong Odette, we [will] anticipate the worst,” he said.

“We ask for their understanding and cooperation. Hindi lang ito laban ng PALECO but all of us. We cannot do it alone, we need cooperation and support of everyone,” Villar added. (with reports from Celeste Anna Formoso)

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.