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DOE workshop in Bicol meant to prep power cooperatives for more ‘Ninas’

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The Department of Energy (DOE) conducted on Friday (February 10) a workshop for electric cooperatives in Bicol less than two months after the region’s electricity infrastructure was devastated by typhoon “Nina”.

Among those who participated in the workshop, which took place in Naga, were representatives from the Albay Power Energy Corp. (APEC), Camarines Norte Electric Cooperative (CANORECO), Camarines Sur I, II, III and IV Electric Cooperatives (CASURECO I, II, III & IV), First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative (FICELCO), Sorsogon I and II Electric Cooperative (SORECO I & II), and the Ticao Island Electric Cooperative (TISELCO).

“We need an effective and standardized disaster-risk response and management protocol following our observations and experience from Typhoon Nina,” said DOE spokesman, Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella as he relayed Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s message to the workshop participants.

Nina, described as the strongest typhoon to hit the Bicol since “Reming” in 2006, downed power lines all over the region especially in Albay and Camarines Sur.

Fuentebella, a former Camarines sur congressman, said Cusi envisioned the workshop as a policy research for the Department in updating its Disaster-Risk Response and Management Protocol.

Cusi, Fuentebella said, stressed that “safety precautions” must be undertaken during the rehabilitation of affected power facilities.

Resource speakers from the National Electrification Administration (NEA), the National Power Corporation (NPC) and the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) shared their own disaster-risk response and management protocols during the workshop.