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Fund lack besets: CASURECO III power restoration works

IRIGA CITY --- The management of the Camarines Sur III Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CASURECO III) here is hoping to get financial assistance from the Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund (ECERF) as provided for by Republic Act No. 11039 to finance its power restoration works after Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ toppled down numerous backbone and lateral lines in its area of coverage last week.

RA 11039 or the Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund Act seeks to provide financial assistance to power cooperatives affected by calamities. The funds allocated will be in the form of grants for disaster mitigation, disaster preparedness, and restoration or rehabilitation of damaged facilities that are readily accessible. The law was enacted on June 29, 2018.

Engr. Wilfredo O. Bucsit, CASURECO III acting general manager, said that based on their initial assessment, damages to electric poles and lines amounted to P 50 million or just 40 percent of the total damage. The amount is expected to increase as soon as access to far-flung areas is gained which are extremely affected by the wrath of the typhoon.

Bucsit said the delay in the release by the Deparment of Budget and Management (DBM) of the P750 million, which is intended for emergency repair works poses concerns to them as they do not know where to get funds to fast track restoration of power supply in their coverage area,

He appealed to the cooperative’s 86, 470 consumers to pay their power bills so that the CASURECO III will have money to fund the on-going repair works of power lines. Houses and business establishments with unpaid accounts will not be energized once power is restored, he said.

As this develops, repair crews from five electric cooperatives in Northern Luzon are now deployed to augment CASURECO III personnel in fixing toppled electrical poles. Crews from Isabela I and II Electric Cooperatives, Nueva Vizcaya Electric Cooperative and Cagayan I and II Electric Cooperatives are expected to assist local linemen until Dec. 16 as part of Task Force Power Rapid Restoration Deployment (PRRD).

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