150,000 households still without power â DOE
Residents of Barangay Buso-Buso in Laurel, Batangas remove volcanic ash from the roofs of their houses yesterday.

150,000 households still without power — DOE

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - January 16, 2020 - 12:00am

BATANGAS, Philippines — Power has yet to be restored in parts of Batangas, Cavite and Laguna as ashfall from Taal Volcano’s eruption affected transmission and distribution facilities.

The Department of Energy (DOE) said around 150,000 households still have no electricity yesterday even as it gave assurance that linemen and other field personnel are speeding up restoration efforts.

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) said 12,850 households being serviced by the Batangas I Electric Cooperative Inc. in Agoncillo and San Nicolas have no electricity as the cooperative went on forced shutdown as a precautionary measure.

The Batangas II Electric Cooperative Inc. said 23,797 households in Tanauan and 16,286 in Talisay and Laurel remain without power because the Batangas substation of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines is still not operational.

Seven power plants in Batangas and Quezon also have derated capacity due to ashfalls, DOE data showed.

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said portions of Sta. Rosa, Cabuyao, Calamba and Biñan in Laguna still have no electricity.

In Cavite, power outages are being experienced in parts of Silang, Amadeo, Alfonso, Mendez-Nuñez, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, Dasmariñas, Indang, Maragondon, Naic, Trece Martirez and Tagaytay City.

Meralco said 122,761 of its customers in Calabarzon were affected by power outages.

Meralco public information office head Joe Zaldarriaga had earlier said the company is working to restore power in affected areas as soon as possible.

The DOE said it advised energy facilities in Laguna, Rizal, the northern part of Quezon and Aurora to continously monitor the situation and prepare contingency measures.

Help rescue animals

Meanwhile, animal welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) urged the military to help in the rescue of animals left behind at the height of the eruption of Taal Volcano.

“The animals on Taal Island are in grave danger and we urgently need the military to help PETA rescue teams,” PETA rescue manager Jana Sevilla said, adding that their group is willing to shoulder the expenses.

Sevilla advised those who want to lend their vehicles to help feed affected animals to contact PETA through Facebook.

Emergency leave, cash aid

As this developed, Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said employees of the judiciary affected by Taal Volcano’s eruption are entitled to a five-day emergency leave.

In a memorandum circular, Peralta said concerned employees could avail themselves of the leave either for consecutive days or on staggered basis within 30 days.

The Philippine National Police, for its part, said it would provide P10,000 in cash assistance to PNP personnel affected by the calamity.

PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa said 278 police officers in Calabarzon were affected and are not expected to report for duty. This would allow them to take care of their families.  – With Emmanuel Tupas, Robertzon Ramirez, Evelyn Macairan

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