Power sup­ply brings sense of nor­malcy to Marawi

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Billboard -

MARAWI CITY -- In this war-torn city striv­ing to get back on its feet, hav­ing a sta­ble sup­ply of elec­tric­ity brings fam­i­lies like that of 34-year-old Riza Lagum­bay a step closer to hav­ing a nor­mal life again.

“I was so thank­ful that there was al­ready elec­tric­ity when we first came to Sa­ri­manok,” Lagum­bay said when she learned that she and her chil­dren will be tem­po­rar­ily housed at the Sa­ri­manok Tent City.

Lagum­bay was one of the 200,000 res­i­dents af­fected by five months of fight­ing be­tween the gov­ern­ment and the Daesh-in­spired Maute gun­men in 2017. Her house and their neigh­bor­hood were within the main bat­tle area in Marawi and were de­stroyed at the height of the fire­fight.

Lagum­bay es­caped along with many other Marawi res­i­dents who, for the next few months, lived in evac­u­a­tion cen­ters in the nearby city of Ili­gan.

In April this year, the gov­ern­ment trans­ferred the evac­uees to the Sa­ri­manok Tent City in Marawi as they awaited the com­ple­tion of the re­con­struc­tion of their homes.

“I was ner­vous at first be­cause I thought the tem­po­rary shel­ter will not have elec­tric­ity,” Lagum­bay said.

To her sur­prise, she found that Sa­ri­manok Tent City has a sta­ble sup­ply of elec­tric­ity.

Lagum­bay said nor­malcy was re­stored in their lives, al­beit not com­pletely. She was able to open a small store in­side the tent city where she sells candies and other goods. Nights have be­come a lit­tle more com­fort­able with an elec­tric fan. A small lap­top loaded with fun videos and games also helps them for­get their present prob­lems.

On cold nights, a small light bulb hang­ing above their small wooden bed pro­vides warmth to the whole fam­ily.

“The elec­tric­ity pro­vides our lives with some com­fort,” Lagum­bay said, adding how thank­ful she is to LASURECO for meet­ing their en­ergy needs.

LASURECO chief of op­er­a­tions Ab­dul Aziz Datu said Lagum­bay should be thank­ful to AboitizPower sub­sidiaries, Davao Light and Power Com­pany, Inc. and Cotabato Light and Power Com­pany, not to LASURECO..

Datu said this would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the in­ter­ven­tion of AboitizPower. LASURECO had noth­ing un­til AboitizPower do­nated distri­bu­tion trans­form­ers, poles, and elec­tri­cal sup­plies to them on Fe­bru­ary 12, 2018.

He said they were able to pro­vide elec­tric­ity to 42 barangays and tem­po­rary shel­ters like the Sa­ri­manok Tent City us­ing the trans­form­ers, poles, and elec­tri­cal equip­ment do­nated by the Aboitiz group.

Datu said the fight­ing left the en­tire Marawi City with dam­aged elec­tric poles and all their trans­form­ers stolen.

“LASURECO was down un­til Davao Light came along with the do­na­tion. We are now slowly able to get back [up],” Datu added.

LASURECO col­lected about PhP 11.6 mil­lion last Oc­to­ber, soon af­ter they were able to sta­bi­lize the sup­ply of elec­tric­ity.

The Aboitiz Group com­mits to do­nate to LASURECO a to­tal of PhP 5.6 mil­lion worth of trans­form­ers, elec­tric poles, wirings and sup­plies in two tranches to help the city re­store its power sup­ply. The first de­liv­ery worth PhP 3.7 mil­lion was made last Feb. 12, 2018.

No less than Aboitiz Eq­uity Ven­tures (AEV) chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Sabin Aboitiz led the cer­e­mo­nial turnover of the doc­u­ments for the sec­ond batch of equip­ment and sup­plies amount­ing to PhP 1.9 mil­lion last Nov 8.

“The Aboitiz Group is com­mit­ted to al­ways lend a help­ing hand to our fel­low Filipinos who are in need of prompt as­sis­tance. At the heart of the sup­port we give and driven by the value of re­spon­si­bil­ity, we make sure that our pro­grams are the kind of as­sis­tance that would make a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the lives of dis­placed Maranaos,” Aboitiz said.

Task Force Ban­gon Marawi Chief Ed­uardo del Rosario, who was there to wit­ness the turn-over of new equip­ment to LASURECO, said the do­na­tion is timely.

“Elec­tric­ity al­ways brings back a sense of nor­malcy,” Del Rosario said.

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