MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur — Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi led Thursday (17 May) the ceremonial switching on of electrical service to six coastal municipalities of Lanao del Sur which had been without power for the last six years.
Almost a year since the Marawi siege started on 23 May 2017, Cusi came to this city with a message of hope for the people of Lanao del Sur on behalf of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The President wanted to ensure first that basic services to Lanao provinces will not stop, and one of which is the continuous provision of electricity services, kaya po tinutukan nating mabuti,” Cusi said.
Cusi was referring to President Duterte’s order after the latter cut short a trip to Russia to deal with the Marawi siege.
“We have to ascertain that the hydroelectric dams, the transmission and distribution lines are protected, because it’s not just Lanao that will be affected, but the entire Mindanao,” added Cusi.
Now energized after the Cusi-led switching on are the towns of Balabagan, Calanogan, Kapatagan, Malabang, Marogong and Picong, which covers a total of 139 barangays and 6,045 households.
The six towns thus joined the consumer base of Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (LASURECO) which now has 17,769 customers.
“There is more fun in Lanao del Sur, kasi may ilaw na. Kapag may ilaw at enerhiya, tiyak na may pag-asa, kaya naman asahan po ninyo, that we in the energy family along with our partners will continue to work until Marawi is fully recover,” said Cusi.
Cusi and the rest of the Department of Energy (DOE) family handed over to LASURECO 50 units of solar streetlights donated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the benefit of the residents in the Sagonsongan Temporary Shelter in Marawi City.
Initially, the DOE and its partners – namely, the Liter of Light, Pepsi Philippines and PHINMA Energy Corporation donated 131 units of solar streetlights which were turned over to LASURECO for installation to areas most affected by the Marawi conflict. The installation for these street lights are ongoing.
Cusi recalled the President saying: “Pagtulong-tulungan na lang natin na i-rebuild ang Marawi, rebuild it better.”