Government told: Help restore power in Eastern Visayas

THE business chamber in Leyte has called on the National Government to intervene in fast-tracking the solution to restore power in the province and the whole Eastern Visayas region.

The call came after the testing of temporary power on July 10 and 11 failed, as officials found out that both the power generating plants and transmission lines were destroyed by the 6.5-magnitude earthquake that struck Leyte on July 6.

Wilson Uy, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Leyte Inc., said the current power situation is causing the business sector to shoulder additional costs in their daily operation.

"This additional costs will be passed on to consumers eventually. In the end, it will be the people who would bear the brunt of increasing prices," Uy said.

He added that with the magnitude of the destruction to the power source and the transmission facilities, the solution cannot be provided by the power companies alone.

In the meantime, Uy said that a number of businesses in Tacloban and in nearby Palo town are taking the power outage as an advantage.

Businesses selling generator sets and other alternative power are "in" for now.

But Uy said there are other businesses that have opted to close down for the last six days following the region-wide blackout. Some are planning to cut short store hours to save on fuel powering their generator sets.

Banks in Tacloban are also shortening their service hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Uy also called on the business sector to "persevere in the current situation" and to cooperate in any way.

"We underwent more than this during Typhoon Yolanda. We will surely survive this as well," he said. (PNA)