Price freeze was also implemented in areas hit by tropical storm Nina, as DOE targets restoration of electricity.
The Department of Energy (DOE) targets to restore electricity in all commercial areas affected by tropical storm Nina before December 31 ends.
This was disclosed by an official of DOE in a press conference in Quezon City on Wednesday.
According to DOE Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella, “by 2017, all commercial areas we are targeting na ma-restore na.”
The agency, the executive noted, is prioritizing commercial areas in those provinces. These include banks, hospitals and relief centers so that those who evacuated will be helped to go on with their lives day-to-day.
Fuentebella added that the DOE has energized the Naga area Tuesday night, and targets to supply electricity to Virac in Catanduanes Wednesday.
“We are targeting, before December 31, other cities like Ligao, Legaspi, Tabaco, Sorsogon at mga nasa gitnang dadaanan niyan ay sisiguraduhin po nating ma-energize,” he said.
Fuentebella added that in Catanduanes, which is one of the badly hit areas, electricity will likely be restored in two weeks. He cited the timeframe set by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi.
“Secretary Cusi gave them two weeks. As far as the rest, two weeks for the commercial areas and another two weeks for the remote areas,” he said.
According to the undersecretary, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is now working round-the-clock to restore power by December 31.
“Our target really is to restore by the 31st. We are working 24 hours round-the-clock. Pino-focus namin lahat ng resources namin para mas maaga naming matapos,” Cynthia P. Alabanza, NGCP spokesperson, said.
After the calamity which affected thousands of the residents, a price freeze on basic commodities is currently in place in the typhoon-hit areas, Fuentebella emphasized.
Under the Philippine laws, specifically the Price Act 1992, a price freeze is automatically implemented in areas placed under a state of calamity for 60 days.
“Price freeze for basic necessities is implemented for 60 days unless lifted … Prices of basic necessities in areas under a state of calamity shall automatically be frozen at their prevailing prices or places under automatic price control.”
“Sinisiguro din ng Department of Energy na meron tayong supisyente at available po ‘yung energy products,” Fuentebella said, citing gasoline and cooking gas.