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Philippine energy chief offers to quit for failing to light up typhoon-hit towns

The Philippine energy secretary has offered to resign for failing to meet a self-imposed target to restore power in typhoon-ravaged towns by Christmas Eve.

President Benigno Aquino III, however, did not accept Jericho Petilla's resignation and instead praised him for "excellent performance" for re-energizing 317 of 320 towns that lost power after Typhoon Haiyan's hit last month.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Thursday it was originally estimated it would take up to six months to restore power but Petilla managed to do most of the work in 40 days.

While power has been restored to grids, many houses and shops could not connect due to damaged wirings. As a result, many people spent Christmas in the dark, including in worst hit Tacloban city.