December 23, 2021
Building back better has been renewable energy leader Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) thrust since its biggest geothermal site located in Ormoc City and Kananga, Leyte was devastated by super typhoon Yolanda back in November 2013.
The company knew that typhoon-proofing its power plants all over the country and ample disaster preparedness were crucial for it to survive strong storms that have become part of the new normal in our country, no thanks to climate change, to be able to continue providing 100% clean power to its customers, and help its communities recover faster from natural calamities.
Prior to Typhoon Odette’s landfall in the Visayas region, EDC has already shared its weather forecast data from IBM’s The Weather Company (TWC) with Ormoc City’s Disaster Preparedness Team, which helped them warn households and businesses on the possible impact of the storm and enabled them to better prepare for the typhoon.
Its investments and preparations seem to have paid off given that its Leyte geothermal facility was minimally affected by the strong typhoon that hit the Visayas and Mindanao region last weekend.
“Having just minor repairs that need to be done and roads going to our site that are being cleared from landslides to make them passable allow us, employees, to focus more on helping our partner communities and other worse affected barangays,” said Erwin B. Magallanes, head of EDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility Department in Leyte.
For instance, EDC employees and the Leyte Ladies Club were able to donate 150 sacks of rice to barangays of San Juan, Anahawan, and Hinunangan in Southern Leyte. It is likewise providing two boom trucks and ten trained linemen to help the South Leyte Electric Cooperative’ (SOLECO) restore power faster in the area in partnership with the Department of Energy and the National Electrification Commission. Without this additional help from EDC, SOLECO foresees that its power will only be restored in March 2022.
Three generator sets were also put on standby for employees of EDC residing in affected areas that need help on their power supply for their homes or communities.
Apart from the 360 liters of water, 54 kilos of rice, canned goods, and 10 rechargeable lamps/fans that it has already distributed, EDC is still working with the Ormoc Chamber of Commerce to help transport more relief goods to affected communities in Southern Leyte apart from the 50 bags of rice EDC donated to Orcham.
“As what we keep telling our stakeholders here in Ormoc City amidst all the adversities that we have faced all these years, dili mo namo pasagdan,” said Magallanes.
Faster recovery from typhoon Odette is made possible with the spirit of Bayanihan at work in this part of Leyte.
EDC is First Gen’s 100% renewable energy (RE) arm, with over 1,480MW total installed capacity that accounts for 20 percent of the country’s total installed RE capacity. Its almost 1,200MW geothermal portfolio comprises 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the 3rd largest geothermal producer in the world.