AS Typhoon Ompong enters the country bringing heavy rains and winds as strong as 160 kph, House Appropriations Committee Chairperson Rep. Karlo “Ang Probinsyano” Nograles on Tuesday called on the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to activate the emergency and resiliency fund and the Power Restoration Rapid Deployment (PRRD) Task Force so that energy is quickly restored in areas that may lose power because of the coming typhoon.
Nograles said that the PRRD Task Force––a team composed of the NEA and electric cooperatives––will “have to be on the frontlines when power needs to be restored in the provinces that will be hit hard by Typhoon Ompong, particularly in the North.”
The third-term legislator from Davao also urged the NEA to be ready to tap the Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund (ECERF) for the resources it needs to address power outages in affected communities.
“When strong typhoons hit, it is almost inevitable that power will be lost in towns and cities that suffer from the deluge of rains and strong winds. Electric posts could be toppled everywhere, and it is with this scenario in mind that Congress passed Republic Act 11039 and provided funds for this,” explained the solon.
RA 11039, also known as the ECERF Act, was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 29, 2018. It sets aside an initial P750 million for the NEA Quick Response Fund, which the agency can tap to support its electricity-restoration activities.
Nograles said that he was among those praying that Typhoon Ompong would weaken when it passes near the country in the coming days, but added that the government had to be prepared for the worst.
“Aside from ensuring the safety of our kapwa probinsyano, we have to be ready to restore whatever services will be disrupted by this storm, especially public utilities,” stressed Nograles.
“Let us do everything we can to make sure that our countrymen are safe, secure, and comfortable. We have the means to get this done, so let’s do it.”