Mayor CVF Offers Free Charging of Gadgets and Free Emergency Calls During Power Interruption
On August 23, 2015, at the height of Typhoon Ineng’s wrath, the whole of Ilocos Norte was placed under an emergency power interruption by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, because one of its electric towers in Nagtupakan, Sta Maria Ilocos Sur was toppled due to strong winds and heavy rains. It will prove to be a sweltering three-day brownout in the entire province and some parts of Ilocos Sur.
Laoag City Mayor Chevylle V Farinas, together with Vertext Handyphones headed by Mr. Handy Lao, immediately offered free charging of cell phones and other electronic gadgets, and free emergency calls, to all residents of Laoag City. The same services were also offered in the different municipalities of Ilocos Norte by Governor Imee R. Marcos.
The move of the City Mayor was so much appreciated and welcomed, not only by Laoaguenos, but also by residents of nearby municipalities. Hundreds of people lined up the alleys and corridors of the city hall to charge their gadgets, prompting the Mayor to open the city auditorium and the basketball court to accommodate everyone. Movies were shown in screens set up for people waiting for their turn or simply to while away the time, to avoid boredom. It was a 24 hour service offered by the city!
On its second day, the number of people doubled as they have brought along rechargeable electric fans, flashlights, and other household gadgets for charging. Persistent rumors had it that electricity would be out for at least a week, some for two weeks and beyond. Hardware stores and Electrical Supplies stores ran out of generator sets to sell as residents panicked to buy one for themselves.
It was a “signature” move of Mayor Chevylle V. Farinas. It was part of her “Agserbi 24/7, Walang Iwanan” program, and it showed well to her constituents. More importantly, residents were afforded with a service that enabled them to withstand the effects of the typhoon, and assured their relatives that they were okay at the height of the anger of “Ineng”.