VOTING. Voters waiting for their turn to scan their ballot in a vote-counting machine in Maasin City, Southern Leyte on Monday (May 9, 2022). At least 74 villages in Southern Leyte are using standby generators to ensure uninterrupted voting in communities hit by Typhoon Odette. (Photo courtesy of Dahlia Orit)

TACLOBAN CITY – At least 74 villages in Southern Leyte are using generators and solar lamps to ensure uninterrupted voting in communities hit by Typhoon Odette, a local power cooperative reported on Monday.

Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative (Soleco) Jonathan Empeno said they made sure of the availability of standby generators in villages where linemen are still working to restore facilities damaged by the destructive typhoon late last year.

“Village officials provided the generators and we distributed solar lights from the Department of Energy. All these efforts are in coordination with the Commission on Elections,” Empeno said in a phone interview.

These villages are in Maasin City, Malitbog, Tomas Oppus, Sogod, Liloan, San Ricardo, and Limasawa towns.

The number of unenergized villages represents about 15 percent of the 500 villages in Southern Leyte hit by power outages when Typhoon Odette struck on Dec. 16, 2021.

Under its revised target, Soleco is eyeing to fully restore power by June.

Empeno said several solar lights have been distributed to ensure that voting in these areas will continue until 7 p.m.

Generators are on standby in case external batteries of vote-counting machines (VCMs) will stop working.

Southern Leyte has 293,635 registered voters casting their votes in 644 clustered precincts.

The Comelec earlier built 80 makeshift precincts in the province for communities badly hit by the typhoon. (PNA)