Duterte visits quake-hit Ormoc

ORMOC CITY, Leyte — President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday declared here that the government is by far on top of the situation in the aftermath of the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that struck the Visayas area on July 6.
The President, who was briefed of the parallel response being done by the various agencies during his visit in this quake-hit city, said he is satisfied by the actions taken by his Cabinet, seven days after the quake jolted a number of provinces in Eastern Visayas.

Primary response presented was on the restoration of power supply in the Eastern Visayas region which has resulted in total blackout in several areas in Leyte.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said that he just secured a signed commitment on Thursday by the power generator Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and transmission facility National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to fully restore power by the July 31 deadline set by DOE.

Cusi added that power restoration will come in staggered phase, the first on July 16 for 40 megawatts, another 90 megawatts on July 19 for a full restoration on July 31.

Meanwhile, the trade and industry department assured they were continuously monitoring prices of commodities in the area and said it has been the same so far.

However, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said during the briefing, with the continued power outage, this may affect prices of commodities, particularly among stores and establishments that operate using generator sets.

The quake’s economic impact estimates a PHP105 million daily loss and is feared to hit billions if the power outage will continue in the next 20 days.

It is feared the power outage may likewise affect the double digit growth achieved by the region in the past year.

Meanwhile, damage to irrigation is pegged at PHP31.79 million, to which the National Irrigation Administration assured they have available funds for the immediate repair of these facilities.

Department of Public Works and Highways Secretarty Mark Villar said the agency will be needing PHP256 million, mostly to repair damaged schools, roads and affected village facilities in Kananga and Ormoc City.

A total of 14 villages are affected in Ormoc City, three villages in Kananga and a village in Carigara town.

The July 6 quake caused two deaths and 351 injured. A total of 8, 957 families were affected. Ahlette Reyes/PNA-northbound.com