Lorenzana assures Leyte quake victims of government aid

Lorenzana assures Leyte quake victims of government aid
By Roel Amazona

ORMOC CITY (Philippines News Agency) — The national government will help residents affected by the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that hit the town of Kananga and Ormoc City last week, said Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Lorenzana presided Monday’s meeting between local government officials from Ormoc City, Kananga town and the province of Leyte and the top officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other agencies.

“Of course, the national government will help them. The national government will not neglect them and let them suffer,” Lorenzana said.

A total of 1,083 families or 5,646 individuals were affected by the strong quake that jolted Kananga and Ormoc City last July 6. Of these figure, 675 were displaced or their houses totally destroyed.

Among the identified families that need to be relocated are the 73 families from the village of Lim-ao in Kananga town. Lorenzana said the national government will help look for funding for the construction of houses.

Lorenzana said the focus at the moment is on the restoration of electricity in the region.

During the meeting, Lorenzana was informed that the bypass line of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) was already completed and being tested.

Power in Eastern Visayas is expected to be restored tomorrow (Tuesday) but in a limited capacity.

Eastern Visayas needs 210MW while Bohol province needs 90MW peak load requirement.

The NGCP can provide 310 MW but this will be on staggered basis with an initial of 40MW as rehabilitation works continues.

“Power must be restored immediately because most of your industry here depends on electricity including your water supply providers,” said Lorenzana.

At the meeting National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Bonifacio Uy said that due to electricity failure, the region is losing around PhP105 million loss of value production on energy sub-sector that comprises of electricity and water.

The energy sub-sector of Region 8 in 2016 contributes a total of 12.2 percent to Eastern Visayas total economy. The power outage also affects the production of the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation (PASAR) that exports refined copper which is now operating at only 50 percent because they are only using generator set. Uy said this means a loss of PhP51 million a day on export.

“If power will not be restored, this may go up to PhP200 million or even PhP500 million loss for the region,” Uy said. (PNA)

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