President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Wednesday said his Administration could finish the electrification of a targeted 32,441 enclaves (sitios) in far-flung areas across the country by March, three months before his term ends in June.
At the ceremonial electrification of sitios within Central Luzon, President Aquino said the government had so far energized 31,862 sitios or 98.2 percent of targets set in 2011 for the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP).
The President said that in Central Luzon alone, 100 percent of 1,199 target sitios were already energized.
“…Marso ng 2016, matatapos na rin nating pailawan ang lahat ng natukoy sa imbentaryo noong 2011. Maliban pa rito, para naman sa malalayong lugar na hindi praktikal na ikabit sa grid, isinusulong po natin ang paggamit ng solar at iba pang makabagong teknolohiya (By March 2016 we will finish the electrification of all areas identified in 2011. In addition, for areas that cannot be connected to the grid for practical reasons, we will push the use of solar and other new techonologies),” he said in a speech delivered in Talavera, Nueva Ecija.
The Chief Executive stressed that the SEP targets were achieved after the government brought down the cost to energize one sitio from an estimated P1 million to about P600,000.
“Umabot ng halos P400,000 po ang natipid natin diyan kada sitio. Patunay itong sa Daang Matuwid, imbes na maibulsa ang pondo, diretso ito sa mga programang naghahatid ng benepisyo sa ating mga boss (We saved up to P400,000 per sitio. This is proof of the Daang Matuwid policy where funds, instead of being pocketed, go to programs that benefit our bosses [Filipinos]),” he said.
Meanwhile, Aquino gave assurances of more infrastructure projects to support the agriculture sector of the province of Nueva Ecija, known as the “Rice Bowl of the Philippines.”
“Para po mabilis na maihatid ang inyong ani sa merkado, nagpagawa at nagpaayos tayo ng 112 na farm-to-market roads, at may 16 pa nitong kasalukuyang iginagawa. Naglaan rin tayo ng 374 milyong piso sa production at post-harvest machinery and equipment, para mas mapalaki ang produksyon at kita ng ating mga magsasaka (For faster delivery of harvests to markets, we constructed and repaired 112 farm-to-market roads and another 16 are being built. We also allocated P374 million for production and post-harvest equipment to raise output and farmer incomes),” he added.