CITY OF ILIGAN – They spent Christmas and New Years in the province of Cebu, away from family and friends, helping the victims of Typhoon Odette.
They were sad for a while, but knowing their loved ones were safe as they helped restore power was satisfaction enough for the seven-man team at Iligan Light and Power Incorporated (ILPI).
They arrived at the Heroes’ Home on February 8 and reunited again on February 16 to receive their cash gifts from a group of retired faculty and staff from Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).
“We were assigned to different areas and then some of us rested for a few days when we got home. It was just a token, cash incentives, which we shared out,” said task force leader Jun Tano in an interview on Friday. night.
Tano himself earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from MSU-IIT in 1992.
“I was told they were proud that whoever was leading the team was from MSU-IIT, so they gave that simple token,” Tano said.
The day after their arrival, ILPI management presented team members with plaques of appreciation during the company’s virtual founding anniversary celebration.
“ILPI’s birthday was actually February 3, but they waited for us to come home,” Tano said.
On the day of their arrival, employees lined up inside the company compound, waving flags of different colors to welcome them home.
Danilo Bagtasos, head of ILPI’s distribution network operations group, said the team volunteered to travel to Cebu on December 23, 2021, a week after ‘Odette’ criticized the province. , in response to Visayan Electric Company (VECO) request for assistance.
“It’s something we can be proud of during the crisis, the spirit of volunteerism is there. We consider them heroes,” Bagtasos said in another interview.
The original plan to stay in Cebu for 10 days was extended due to the scale of the destruction.
“VECO aimed to restore 100% power supply by January 31, but due to the huge damage in its service area, only 90% of the target was achieved. When we left Cebu City on February 7, other electric distribution utilities and cooperatives were still there,” Tano said, noting that they had made sure their missions were accomplished in their assigned areas before returning home. .
As of noon Saturday, VECO reported that 462,694 of its 474,182 affected customers already had power in the franchise areas of the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay and Naga and the cities of San Fernando, Minglanilla, Consolacion and Liloan.
The Cebu mission was a first for Terence Hale Naive, pilot and lineman for the ILPI team. He has been with the company for almost a year, but also worked at VECO before coming to Iligan.
“It was a great feeling and I felt proud when the residents thanked us,” Naive said. (NAP)