21 July 2017
The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is targeting 100 percent electrification of sitios across the country by 2022.
Speaking at the 5th Annual Philippines Power and Electricity Week held at Paranaque City on Wednesday, NEA Chief Edgardo Masongsong said that from 2011 to 2016, the agency has completed the energization of 32,441 target sitios.
Masongsong said 23,464 sitios in the country have yet to be energized through the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), and the cost to electrify one sitio is more or less P1 million.
To enable NEA and its partner electric cooperatives to meet the target of energizing the remaining intended SEP beneficiaries, Masongsong said an estimated budget of P5 billion a year is needed.
The state agency aims to energize 2,410 sitios this year and 1,800 sitios in 2018. The funding allotted by the Department of Budget and Management for the SEP next year is only P1.8 billion, he said.
"We hope that by 2019 to 2022, we will be getting between P4.8-billion to P5.2-billion per annum so we will be able to energize all these sitios until 2022," Masongsong said.
"By 2022," according to the former party-list representative, "we hope that the last household will be served with electricity."
The NEA chief was invited to speak at the 5th Annual Philippines Power and Electricity Week on the current status of the Rural Electrification Program of the Philippine government.
During the conference, Masongsong also discussed the challenges faced by the agency and the 121 electric cooperatives in the implementation of the rural electrification program, foremost of which is the devastation in the wake of natural disasters.
He also talked about the initiatives being undertaken by the NEA to improve the financial and operational performance of the 10 electric cooperatives identified as "ailing." He also presented the five-point electricity agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Apart from Masongsong, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, were also among the invited speakers at the conference. ###