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Don­ald Guibao, a line­man at the Zam­bales-based Su­bic En­erZone Cor­po­ra­tion (SEZ), was in his of­fice on Septem­ber 23, draft­ing the day’s work or­ders when he was told his help is needed in Ca­gayan and he may be sent along with his team to help out.

Typhoon Om­pong had just rav­aged Ca­gayan and nearby prov­inces a few days back. It felled thou­sands of power lines, leav­ing tens of thou­sands of house­holds, busi­nesses, and vi­tal in­stal­la­tions like hos­pi­tals with­out power.

“I saw it as a new set of chal­lenges, which will help our fel­low coun­try­men in Ca­gayan,” the 34-year-old line­man said as he and his team set out to drive 460 kilo­me­ters.

His team­mates had to travel even greater dis­tances as they come from Cebu, Davao, and Pam­panga.

As of Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 7, the work­ers are still in Ca­gayan. They have been away from their fam­i­lies for some 13 days. But with much work to do, they will stay on for an­other two weeks, for love of work, and to help their fel­low Filipinos.

When the team ar­rived, they saw scenes of de­struc­tion. Tornoff roofs, up­rooted trees, and flooded roads and high­ways greeted the team. While this made power restora­tion more chal­leng­ing, they were not dis­heart­ened.

“We just thought that the quicker we can res­tore power in the area, the quicker it would be to ease the hard­ships of our kababayans in Ca­gayan,” Guibao said. He was also in Ca­gayan to help out in the wake of Typhoon Lawin in 2016.

For Guibao and the rest of the team, this lat­est mis­sion is just an­other day’s work. But for the peo­ple of Ca­gayan, these line­men’s work serves as a glim­mer of hope amid tragic times.

As of Oc­to­ber 7, the AboitizPower con­tin­gent has re-en­er­gized 20,475 homes across 36 barangays in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Tuao, about 31 kilo­me­ters north­west of Tugue­garo City. This marks the com­ple­tion of power restora­tion in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, prompt­ing the trans­fer of the team to an­other area.

The AboitizPower Dis­tri­bu­tion Group has set aside P3.043 mil­lion for power restora­tion ef­forts in Ca­gayan un­til Oc­to­ber 23.

AboitizPower is work­ing with Ca­gayan 1 Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive 1 (CAGELCO 1), one of two elec­tric co­op­er­a­tives serv­ing the prov­ince of Ca­gayan, for the power restora­tion ef­forts.

“This is not the first time that Aboitiz ex­tended its help. About two years ago, when Typhoon Lawin dev­as­tated Ca­gayan, Aboitiz was among the first to send its line­men. It has al­ways been their prac­tice to send help to typhoon-stricken ar­eas. CAGELCO 1 ad­mires their pas­sion and ded­i­ca­tion in de­liv­er­ing our com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing qual­ity ser­vice to our mem­ber-con­sumer-own­ers, most es­pe­cially dur­ing calami­ties. With this, we truly are grate­ful,” CAGELCO 1 Gen­eral Man­ager Tito Lin­gan said.

“It is dur­ing these times when the Filipino spirit of Bayani­han be­comes truly ev­i­dent. As our hearts go out to those af­fected by this in­ci­dent, we will con­tinue to work with our part­ners in any way we can to help Ca­gayan get back on its feet,” said Jim Aboitiz, Pres­i­dent and Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer of the AboitizPower Dis­tri­bu­tion Group.

Other Aboitiz busi­ness units re­cently mo­bi­lized its peo­ple and re­sources in sup­port of re­lief ef­forts for com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by Typhoon Om­pong, which slammed North­ern Lu­zon and Cen­tral Lu­zon on Septem­ber 15. (PR)

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