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DOE is being encouraged to assist in the restoration of power in NegOr communities in time for the May elections.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Negros Oriental has requested cooperation from the Department of Energy (DOE) to expedite the restoration of electricity in the towns and cities ravaged by Typhoon Odette last December in order to ensure a smooth run of the national and local elections on May 9.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday, lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, Comelec provincial election supervisor-designate for Negros Oriental, expressed concern that towns and cities covered by the Negros Oriental Electric Cooperative I (NORECO I) may not be fully energized before election day.

β€œNORECO I indicated the earliest they could fully energize the areas that are still without electricity would be April 30, which is too close for comfort because the elections are just days away,” he said.

NORECO I provided Comelec that promise during a recent meeting with the Provincial Joint Security Council (PJSCC), he said.

Under that meeting, NORECO I said it had energized around 40% of the areas in its coverage that had been affected by Typhoon Odette, according to the Comelec lawyer, though no list of which barangays were still without electricity was made available.

The NORECO I coverage area extends from Tanjay City to Vallehermoso in the province’s central and northern regions.

“On the other side, we have no issues with NORECO II, which includes Dumaguete City and the southern towns and cities, because they pledged to be fully powered by the end of February,” he stated.

Castillano said he’ll be in touch with the DOE shortly to see if more electric cooperatives may be sent to support NORECO I with its power restoration operations.

NORECO I was unable to comment on which areas are still without power.

Teams from Tarlac, Zambales, Negros Occidental, and the Energy Development Corporation have been dispatched to help NORECO I in the aftermath of Storm Haiyan, the most powerful typhoon to strike the Philippines in 2021.

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