REPAIR. Linemen from Leyte help repair facilities damaged by Typhoon Odette in Bontoc, Southern Leyte in this May 18, 2022 photo. Power has been restored in 463 out of 500 villages in the province hit by Typhoon Odette more than five months ago. (Photo courtesy of Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative (Soleco) has restored power in 463 out of 500 villages in the province hit by Typhoon Odette more than five months ago.

Soleco general manager Jonathan Empeño said in a phone interview Thursday said they are optimistic about fully restoring power by the end of the month to the remaining 37 villages badly hit by the typhoon on Dec. 16, 2021.

“The limited personnel and lack of materials have been hampering efforts to bring back electricity in the past five months of restoration activities,” Empeño added.

Soleco reported that as of May 31, some 96,035 houses and establishments have been energized out of the 105,787 affected power consumers.

This means that 9,752 houses are still without elecricity

Areas with fully restored power are the towns of Macrohon, Padre Burgos, Maasin City Libagon, Pintuyan, San Juan, Anahawan, Hinundayan, Hinunangan, Limasawa, and Silago.

Partially energized communities are in Tomas Oppus, Bontoc, Sogod, Liloan, San Ricardo, Saint Bernard, San Francisco, and Malitbog.

Soleco has already spent more than PHP300 million to restore power in Southern Leyte.

The amount includes the PHP100 million loan to Soleco from the National Electrification Administration and their PHP39 million contingency fund to carry out the restoration works.

Typhoon Odette toppled electric posts and destroyed other distribution facilities when it battered parts of Visayas and Mindanao on Dec. 16, 2021.

The total cost of damage to Soleco facilities is estimated at PHP800 million. (PNA)