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July 24,2009

Tricycle Driver Survives 7,620 Volts Electrocution


By Quirico M. Gorpido, Jr.

Maasin City, Southern Leyte-A tricycle driver who detached TV antennae at the
rooftop of his parents-in-laws in brgy. Combado here in this city was electrocuted
recently (one Sunday afternoon at 4:00p.m.)when he raised the TV antennae and
accidentally touched it on (Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative, Inc.)SOLECO’s
7,620 volts mainline transmission.
The victim was identified as Alexis Gamotan Costillas, 32 years old, married, a
resident of the newly-
turned over 24 houses at Josephina GK Village. This is located at the hilltop of
brgy. Combado overlooking the proper city and provide a breathtaking view of the
vast open ocean and farflung Camiguin and Bohol.Islands..
The victim’s elder sister Inocencia Costillas-Ramos, 40 years old, married, a
resident of brgy.Mambajao said that they heard an explosion nearby and learned
that his younger brother was electrocuted and fell upon the rooftop. Some members
of the family immediately climbed atop the roof to help him.
Costillas was rushed to the provincial hospital accompanied by his in-laws and
close relatives aboard the Bureau of Fire Protection’s rescue ambulance right
after the emergency call.
In an interview at the hospital the victim said he asked his parents-in-law to
get the TV antennae atop their house roof as this is not being used anymore for a
period of time. He said his parents-in-law gave their consent since they have
already shifted to cable TV for more TV programming.
When the TV antennae inserted to a steelpipe pole to provide a longer elevation
was detached from its position, he said, he raised it unmindful of his distance
from the mainline transmission above, adjacently traversing along his father-in-
law’s house. “Akong nabati nga daw may dakong kusog nga magnitong ningbira sa
antenna paigon sa itaas nga dili nako mapugngan ug nataban ako ug nakoryientehan
ako dihadiha,” he narrated in Cebuano.( “I felt as if there was a strong magnetic
force pulling the antennae that was hard to resist and I was automatically raised
upward together with the antennae I’m holding and I was electrocuted right there.)

He said he was carried up a few feet from the floor where he stood and
explosion followed after a few seconds and he fell on the rooftop.Th victim
sustained severe burns on his 2 feet’s soles including all his toes. His right
hand was swollen while his left hand was less affected, but both have burnt palms.
A certain SOLECO Engineer, who does not want to be named, disclosed that
SOLECO’s mainline transmission in brgy. Combado that has 13,200 volts “line to
line” and has 7,620 volts” line to ground” is still safe at a 2 feet distance from
a person, but risky in such a distance if the object is steel.
However, the estimated distance of half a meter length away from the mainline
as revealed during the victim’s interview is a miscalculation, the Engineer
claimed. “It must be nearer than what he has estimated that’s why he felt some
kind of force that strongly pulled the antennae and he was electrocuted”, he said.
A one foot away from the mainline is still safe for a lineman doing some repair
atop a lamppost, he also claimed. But he must be cautious with his movement up
there.”Neverthelss, a 2.5 feet distance from the mainline is much safer for any
electrician doing some repair above the post”, he said.
The victim’s painful burns have exposed the flesh and he felt a severe pain
every time he tried to walk wearing sandals. His elder sister said that he was
taking some medicines including injectable vials aside from the administration of
dextrose for physical support. It was learned that the burns/injuries were the
result when the powerful electric power has existed on different parts of his body
Dr. Reynaldo Tan, the victim’s attending physician, said that Costillas was
still under observation from 2 to
3 weeks or even more, depending upon his response to medications.
“Suwerte guihapon ang akong igsoon kay ningboto ang koryiente ug nahulog
siya.Kung wala pa moboto malagmit namatay na siya karon,”his sister said in
Cebuano. (My younger brother was still lucky that the electric power has exploded
upon electrocution. If it were not for the explosion, he might be dead by now”.)
A concerned citizen also suggested that anybody should refrain from building
his/her house near the mainline transmission to avoid accidental electrocution.
About 4 to 5 years ago, 2 young men in the same barangay were also electrocuted
during a rainy day. They were holding together a TV antenna with a pipepole
extension for a much longer range and inserted in a long bamboo tube ready for
transferring to a higher elevation to get a much clearer reception. However, the
antennae accidentally touched the mainline transmission as they raised it and were
automatically electrocuted. According to some witnesses the victims were thrown
away a few seconds later after the fatal electrocution with sparks coming out from
their bodies. They died anyway after a few minutes.(Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.)

July 24,2009

Southern Leyte Barangay Electrifications Shall Be Completed Before The End Of 2009
by Quirico M. Gorpido, Jr

Maasin City, Southen Leyte-The province-wide barangay electrifications project


covering a total of 500 barangays shall be completed before the end of 2009, if
the targeted timetables have no hitches to encounter.
This was the disclosure of Archie Salazar, SOLECO’s OIC for Institutional
Services in a recent interview with LSDE.According to him, out of 500 barangays
comprising 18 municipalities and one city, 486 different barangays were already
energized thus providing electric power to the inhabitants of various
municipalities.
Salazar disclosed that the rural electrification program was originally the
brainchild of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos. It started its
implementation in Southern Leyte in 1982.The project first energized
Maasin up to the town of Sogod. Earlier, the Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative,
Inc. (SOLECO) was incorporated in 1971 and has started its operation in 1975.
In 1983 the rural electrification project proceeded to Libagon and all of the 4
municipalities of Liloan, San Francisco, Pintuyan and San Ricardo in the Panaon
Island. The following year 1984, the energization project covered the Pacific
towns of St.Bernard, San Juan, Anahawan, Hinundayan and Hinunangan.After the
latest project was completed, Silago, the last municipality was then scheduled for
power installation.
However, Limasawa Island with 6 barangays, which was part of Padre Burgos for
many years until 1980s, was only energized sometime in 1996.At that time the
island has become a municipality after the conduct of a referendum in both the
inhabitants of the island and in the mainland Padre Burgos. The availability of
Limasawa’s electric power is limited, that is from 6:00p.m. up to 12:00
pm.only.”WE decided to reduce the number of hours for the use of power in that
place because at 12:00pm. mostly, the people there are already sleeping. This is
also the way to economize their payment of electric bills,” Salazar said.
He explained that Limasawa’s current electric rate is P8.83 per kilowatt hour
because of the so-called dummy load. “The normal cycle of the Leyte Grid’s power
plant generator in the island should be maintained”, he said. “Reducing its normal
cycle will damage the generator and the reduced power output of say 210 volts
instead of 220 will also damage the household appliances. The power being
generated is more than what the 6 barangays of Limasawa have needed. Thus the
surplus power is being charged to the consumers as dummy load.”
He informed that the current electrification of 12 barangays in the towns of
Bontoc, Malitbog, Liloan, San Ricardo, Sogod and Silago has started sometime in
October 2008. The ongoing project is estimated to be finished before the end of
March 2009. He said the aforesaid project is undertaken by the privately-owned
Philippine Development Corporation.
The barangays involved were Olisihan,Tigbawan 2, ,Saub,Bituon,San
Ramon,Kinachawa,Looc,Buhong,Calinao,Hindangan,Kauswagan and Law-an.
SOLECO’s OIC for Institutional Services also divulged that the O Ilaw program
of the incumbent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was changed to Leyte Expanded
Rural Electrification Project due to the privatization of some government agencies
associated with the electrification project.
Salazar informed that the recipient for every finished project covering either
8 to 9 barangays in every phase of work is SOLECO.The electric coop will then
allocate funding for the project and the delivery of services to the consumers. He
also said SOLECO’s current rate is P6.69 per kilowatt hour (pkh).
He intimated that 15 to 18 barangays have benefited yearly upon completion of
the phase by phase rural electrification project in various areas of the province.
He clarified that after the 12 barangays’ electrification will be finished
sometime in March 2009, there are only 2 remaining barangays for energization.
. Salazar further revealed that the continual implementation of the stages of
projects carried out by schedules were made possible by the funds raised by the
Government’s energy agencies like the Dept. of Energy(DOE), Philippine National
Oil Company-Energy Development Corporation(PNOC-EDC), National Power
Corporation(NAPOCOR), and the National Electrification Administration(NEA).
He said moreover, that the O Ilaw project, which is just another name of Marcos’
Rural Electrifications Program, has started during the Ramos Administration and
was continued by the Estrada presidency. He added that the incumbent President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who replaced Joseph Estrada thru the People Power 2, has
mandated NEA to accomplish 100% total nationwide electrification by the year
2011.(Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.)

July 24,2009

Drunken Driver Dies In Collision


By Quirico M. Gorpido, Jr.

Maasin City, Southern Leyte-Two motorcycles-both running in high speed-the first


one speeding towards northwest and the other running towards southeast-collided in
brgy. Dinajugan, Padre Burgos at past 7:00p,m. recently, seriously injuring both
drivers and the latter’s backrider.
The impact of collision was so destructive that it broke the facial bone of the
unidentified motorcycle driver with no headlight. The other driver was identified
as Eliseo Sabandal Mangalo, 44 years old, married, and resident of brgy.
Sta.Sophia, Padre Burgos. The backrider, his son, was identified as Jessie Taylan
Mangalo, 16 years old, a second year high school student of St.James Academy in
Padre Burgos.
The 3 victims were brought by some concerned citizens in the neighborhood to
the Padre Burgos Community Hospital for emergency treatment. But because of lack
of facilities, they were referred to the provincial hospital here in this city.
The unidentified driver-victim was found to be drunk as he himself heavily smelled
of liquor when the witnesses raised him up aboard an ambulance bound for Maasin
City. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
According to our source, the northwest-bound motorcycle has no headlight, the
reason why the driver of the southeast-bound motorcycle was shocked to see that
the speeding motorcycle’s proximity to his vehicle cold no longer be avoided, thus
they inevitably collided.
In an interview at the hospital here, Virgelia Taylan Mangalo, 39 years old,
wife of Eliseo said that her husband went to brgy. Libas, Sogod about noon on that
day to sell some fishes which he brought at the Padre Burgos fish port. At about
6:00p.m. when almost all of their fishes were sold out, her husband decided to go
home to their resident barangay. Upon reaching brgy, Dinajugan, which is less than
10 kilometers away from Padre Burgos, the collision unexpectedly, happened. “If
only the other motorcycle was running with headlight”, she sadly said, “most
probably my husband can see the approaching vehicle clearly and can easily changed
direction to avoid a collision”.
The senior Mangalo claimed he was unconscious right after the collision and did
not know who were those people who brought them to the hospital in Padre Burgos.
He said he only regain his consciousness while already at the hospital.
His left and right arms have swollen including his face. He has a big wound on
his forehead and his swollen left eye was also injured. His right wrist and left
leg were fractured. Attending physician, Dr. Elpidio Sibud, an orthopedic surgeon,
told the victim’s wife that they need stainless steels as supportive braces to
connect the 2 fractured bones of her husband.
The victim’s head, however, despite head injuries has no brain damage and his
skull is intact as shown by X-ray results. Jessie has swollen left eye and looked
blackish. He has some bruises also in different parts of his body but no fractured
bone.
Mangalo’s smaller motorcycle Honda-XRM was badly damage. While that of the
unidentified driver’s bigger motorcycle STX has little damage.
The victim’s wife further disclosed that they could not afford the big amount
of money needed on her husband’s bone operation. She intimated she would try to
approach a humanitarian or philanthropic institution which she thinks could
possibly help them for financial assistance.
However, two weeks later after the interview, the patient was out at the
hospital.(Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.)

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