The National Electrification Administration (NEA) and electric cooperatives (ECs) pledged on Tuesday to complete all pending state-funded rural electrification projects in four years.
During the EC General Managers’ Session at NEA headquarters in Quezon City, NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong urged co-ops to devise strategies to increase efforts to meet the government’s goal of achieving energy access for all.
“The ways of the past were already proven inadequate to the demands of the country’s growing rural economy,” Masongsong said.
“We have to catch up, double our efforts, and ensure that our services are more than enough to drive the Duterte administration’s economic legacy after 2022,” he added.
Although much needs to be done, NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Artis Nikki Tortola assured ECs of the agency’s commitment to help them complete the projects.
“The end goal is [to ensure]that all potential consumers are energized. NEA will adjust accordingly to the strategies that ECs will be taking in order to [keep the projects within]the proposed timeline,” Tortola said.
For their part, ECs promised to support the government’s Rural Electrification Program by fast-tracking the implementation of the Sitio Electrificiation, Barangay Line Enhancement, and Household Electrification programs.
The pledge comes as latest NEA data show that 19,740 sitios still have no electricity as of this month.
Of this number, 8,535 are in Mindanao, 6,541 in Luzon, and 4,664 in the Visayas.
NEA and ECs aim to energize 1,817 sitios this year: 560 in Luzon, 552 in the Visayas, and 705 in Mindanao.
The agency has asked P5.076 billion from the government to finance 3,626 electrification projects—each cost P1.4 million—under the Sitio Electrification Program for 2019.