Robredo agrees to solve Bicol’s power supply problems; courts the Catanduanes, the people of Masbate

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Vice President Leni Robredo at Pilipinas Debates 2022: The Turning Point on April 3, held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza. (VP Leni Media Office)

LIGAO CITY – Addressing thousands of supporters in separate campaign outings in Virac, Catanduanes and Masbate City, Masbate, presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo pledged to address the issues of power supply in Bicol’s office that she is elected president.

Robredo, his running mate Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and some members of their Senate list braved the rains brought by Tropical Depression Agaton to meet around 15,000 equally soaked supporters at the big Metrowalk VTC rally in Virac at 4:30 a.m. pm Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning in Masbate City, some 20,000 supporters also gathered for another Leni-Kiko political rally on J. Robredo Boulevard, the street renamed in honor of the vice president’s husband, the late secretary of the Interior. Jesse Robredo, who died in a plane crash in 2012.

Power issues

Most of Bicol’s neighborhoods suffered from an unstable power supply.

The island-province of Catanduanes has been plagued by unplanned and frequent power outages which, according to the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc., were due to old cables damaged by weather disturbances or high winds.

Local electricity distribution companies and cooperatives in the region are struggling with various operational and technical problems such as unpaid consumption bills, loss of systems caused by widespread electricity thefts and lines and stations of outdated transmissions that are easily damaged by powerful typhoons that frequently hit the area.

In Masbate, consumers are complaining about weekly and unexpected brownouts that can stretch for more than 12 hours on Saturdays.

Robredo experienced these power cuts herself when she was a paralegal trainer in the towns of Mandaon and Balud in Masbate.

Acknowledging the rally is close to the crash site where her husband took his last breath, she said Masbate was still a second home to her.

“Lots of resources. But so many are poor. We should explore why this place is still poor. The key to change is in the hands of the people,” she said.

Amendments

In Catanduanes, Robredo and his team were warmly welcomed by Governor Joseph “Boboy” Cua and other local officials.

“We have no reason not to support Vice President Leni, the very first Bicolana to become the next President of the Republic…after the typhoon, she was there right away. She also helped us with the COVID-19 vaccination [rollout]making Catanduanes the [one with] the highest number of people vaccinated in [the] six provinces to Bicol,” Cua, who is seeking re-election, told the crowd.

Robredo was grateful for the endorsement from local officials, but advised voters to vote for her not because she is a colleague of Bicolano, but because of her background in public service.

In Masbate, Rep. Narciso “Bong” Bravo Jr, who is running for governor, also backed Robredo and Pangilinan.

Representatives Scott Lanete and Marvi Bravo, who were with Robredo at the 16th Congress, were also there to support his candidacy.

“Let’s not waste our vote. Vote wisely and decide based on the truth,” Robredo told his supporters in Masbate.

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