MORE than 4,700 remote sitios, or sub-villages, were provided electricity during the first half of the year, benefiting some 711,600 Filipinos nationwide, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) said.
This was made possible through the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP) being implemented by the agency along with its partner electric cooperatives (ECs).
For the first half, NEA said Western Visayas energized the most number of sitios at 680, with Cebeco I accounting for 237 sitios. Other ECs with significant contributions were Zamsureco I (173); Dasureco (158); Noneco (145); Quezelco I (140); Cenpelco (140); Anteco (136); Sukelco (123); Noreco I (122); and Panelco I/Kaelco (119).
In October 2011, the state-run agency committed to electrify 32,441 sitios until the end of the Aquino administration in June 2016. As of June 30 this year, a total of 25,257 sitios or 78 percent of the target have been energized at a cost of P14.6 billion, or an average of P578,411 per sitio.
Central Luzon and Calabarzon have posted the highest SEP accomplishment at 89 percent, it said. The co-ops which have energized the most number of sitios are Ormeco (895); Cebeco I (845); Ifelco (687), Dasureco (623); and Camelco (566).
Meanwhile, it said 11 ECs have fully accomplished their SEP targets. These are Inec (18); Panelco I (335); Batanelco (15); Penelco (44); Pelco II (15); Pelco III (3); Zameco II (30); Batelec I (28); Aleco (39); Banelco (147); and Lasureco (62).
In 2014 alone, 7,567 sitios were energized, which was 7 percent more than the target of 7,073 sitios.
NEA Administrator Edita Bueno described the project as a “feat” considering the massive power restoration efforts implemented by NEA and 70 ECs nationwide to 33 ECs devastated by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) which had been providing power to 341 municipalities, 7,052 barangays and 1.4 million households.
“The provision of electricity to ‘unenergized’ sitios through the SEP is part of the Aquino administration’s social contract with the Filipino people,” she said.
Because of this, Bueno said various strategies are being instituted to fast-track SEP implementation for all Filipinos to enjoy the benefits of electricity as soon.
NEA has also accredited regional technical evaluators; created sitio implementation units in the ECs; encouraged the participation of civil society organizations (CSOs); issued an unbundled price index of five MVA and 10 MVA substations; and complied with COA rules and regulations.
It has also launched a Build Back Better Program this year with the issuance of policy and implementing guidelines designed to facilitate project implementation.