BAGUIO CITY – The Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) has sustained P5 million in damage from typhoon “Egay.” Beneco is rebuilding damaged distribution structures and hopes to fully restore power in all service areas next week and expects cost of damage to increase as reports from remote towns in Benguet are still coming in. Beneco has restored power to 66.92 percent of member-consumers as of Friday, July 28. A memorandum issued by the city authorizing barangay captains to cut live and dead trees that pose immediate danger to the public is expected to help Beneco linemen a lot especially if they fell on power cables or transformers. Power is back to 98 of the 129 barangays here as all feeders (mainlines) in this city and most of Benguet have been energized. Circuit 7 covering Sinipsip, Buguias is yet to be restored, according to Roy Olatic, an engineer and one of Beneco’s construction and maintenance supervisors. Olatic said 120 linemen were dispatched on Friday to repair 40 damaged primary poles and their attached lines and seven transformers. Damaged poles and lines cost P3.5 million and P1.5 million for transformers. The towns of Bakun, Bokod, Kabayan, Kapangan, and Kibungan, Benguet remain without power as of posting time. Power is slowly being restored in towns such as Atok (78 percent), Buguias (19.90 percent), Itogon (10.74 percent), La Trinidad (91.77 percent), Mankayan (62.81 percent) Sablan (7.89 percent), Tuba (2.88 percent), Tublay (77.05 percent). Power here is 81.15 percent restored. Olatic appealed for patience from consumers as they bring back power. “Our linemen are racing to bring back power to our consumers. But they have to do it safely. It maybe tedious and time consuming, but patrolling our lines is crucial to avoid further damage prolonging the power interruption,” Olatic said. He added: “Our linemen had to fix our back bone lines first, followed by our laterals, then we can already attend to individual concerns.” Ramel Rifani, network services department manager, also appealed for patience and understanding from consumers following the decision of management not to dispatch linemen during heavy rains. “We do not wish to place our linemen in peril,” he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (