IN a bid to speed up the government’s rural electrification efforts, the Department of Energy (DoE) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) worth P131 million with three electric cooperatives to energize remote areas in Bohol, Quezon, and Palawan with prepaid solar home systems.
The undertaking entails the installation of a prepaid Photovoltaic Mainstreaming system for 5,574 households within the franchise areas of the Busuanga Island Electric Cooperative (BISELCO), Quezon II Electric
Cooperative (QUEZELCO II) and Bohol II Electric Cooperative (BOHECO II).
Signed last week, the DoE said the initiative, part of the European Union-Access to Sustainable Energy
Program (EU-ASEP) program, was targeting to energize 40,500 households situated in isolated islets and located far from electrified sitios (sub-villages) as well as isolated areas including small communities in upland areas.
Data from the National Electrification Administration (NEA) show that 1,817 sitios across the country, mainly in Mindanao, have yet to be electrified.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said during the signing ceremony that they were scrambling to complete the electrification projects so that far-flung communities would have basic access to energy services.
“We want the beneficiaries to have a decent life, their children to have the opportunity to read their books at night and the families to listen to the news and other developments among their other concerns,” Cusi said.
The Energy chief urged electric cooperatives (ECs) to ensure the proper implementation of the plan, particularly in identifying beneficiaries so that power services would be delivered to the people.
The DoE’s electrification program involves two solar home systems (SHS) services — the SHS Service 1 with a 30-watt peak and the SHS Service 2 with a 50-watt peak, capable of energizing lighting systems, charging mobile phones and running small television sets.