BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The full power restoration in southern Negros, which was devastated by Typhoon Odette, may happen after 45 days as electric cooperatives in Iloilo, northern and central Negros dispatched their personnel to help in raising about 200 main electrical poles toppled by strong winds, disclosed yesterday by Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.
But Lacson said that the full restoration of electricity in affected areas in northern and central Negros may happen within a week.
He said that only mountainous barangays of Calatrava and San Carlos City have not been energized yet by the Northern Negros Electric Cooperative, and upper areas covered by the Central Negros Electric Cooperative.
The Globe also announced yesterday that its network services are back in Negros Occidental, Capiz, Roxas, Catarman and Siquijor.
Coming from the holidays, Globe and TM customers were able to raise up to P665,520 for those who were affected by Typhoon Odette, it added.
On the other hand, Lacson said the issue against an owner of a disputed property who will not allow line men to enter to repair toppled electric posts has already been resolved in southern Negros.
Estimated damage brought about by typhoon Odette in Negros Occidental was placed by the provincial government at almost P6 billion, in terms of crops, livestock and infrastructure.
Aside from the absence of electricity, Lacson said southern Negros residents need more food packs as well as potable water.
Lacson said that the National Housing Authority is slated to distribute P5,000 financial assistance each to owners of partially damaged houses, as the provincial government is also set to use P50 million allocated funds for the emergency purchase of construction materials for damaged homes.
By next year, he added that owners of destroyed houses may also receive similar assistance, but in bigger amount.
While there is an ongoing freeze on prices of grocery items, however, prices of generator sets and construction materials are increasing, he added.
Lacson said he is contemplating to issue a memorandum or an executive order to include other items in the price freeze, if it is possible, in consultation with the Provincial Legal Office and the Department of Trade and Industry.
“I am touching on their conscience not to take advantage of the situation by raising prices, just to make more money,” the Negros Occidental governor said, apparently referring to businessmen.*