Fifty-four employees of the Energy Development Corporation, who were stranded in various renewable energy sites around the country due to the lockdown brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, finally flew home, a press release from the company said.
Neil John Escalera, an operations and maintenance resource support engineer sent to EDC’s geothermal facility in Valencia, Negros Oriental, was among those who was finally extricated from his last assignment and sent home to be reunited with his family.
He was among 150 employees and contractors of EDC, who found themselves locked down in various parts of the country amid travel restrictions, enduring over two months of separation from their families before they were finally flown home by the company on specially-chartered flights. Many of them, though, opted to stay on in their present site, the press release said.
Ana Marie Agapinan, EDC extrication project team leader, said that while the company “doubled-down on its commitment to keep uninterrupted power flowing into the grid, we knew we had a duty to keep our employees and contractors – our very own frontlines, safe and supported and bring them home to their families as soon as we were allowed to.”
The 54 employees flew via a chartered flight operated by Air Swift that hopped between Manila, Ormoc City, Davao City, Dumaguete City, and Legazpi City, picking up and dropping off passengers within a span of 12 hours. Land transportation was also made available to pick-up them up from various airports and to bring them home.
EDC, being the largest renewable energy producer in the Philippines, operates geothermal power plants in Bicol, Negros, Leyte, and North Cotabato, a combined solar and wind power farm in Ilocos Norte, and a hydroelectric power plant in Nueva Ecija. Employees and contractors often travel to, or are temporarily assigned to its different sites as part of their work programs, the press release added.*
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