Agency spent P3.5B to provide electricity to rural areasBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) and its partner electric cooperatives spent about P3.5 billion last year to provide access to electricity to 6,163 villages across the country.
The electrification projects benefited 53,688 household consumers or 268,440 Filipinos, according to NEA.
“We at NEA believe that the true success of electrification program is not measured by the number of posts and kilometers of lines constructed. It is determined primarily by the lives of the beneficiaries that have improved, the economic activities that emerged and the advancement in education and health services in the rural areas made possible by the availability of electric service,” NEA Administrator Edita S. Bueno said in a statement.
NEA received from the national government last year a total of P4.05 billion, which was released in four installments. Of the amount, the bulk or P3.7 billion was programmed to be used for electrification projects covering 6,451 villages.
It is expected that the electrification projects for the remaining 288 villages that were not energized in 2012 could be completed by the end of this month.
NEA is a government-owned corporation mandated to carry out electrification projects on an “area coverage” basis through its implementing arms, the electric cooperatives.
The agency is fast-tracking the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), which is included in President Aquino’s priority programs.
The Department of Energy is batting for a 90-percent household electrification across the country by 2017. The government’s aggressive and renewed thrust toward household electrification was rooted in the belief that electricity stimulates economic growth in the rural areas where it is needed the most.
By providing access to electricity, rural folks are also being empowered and given the chance to have better access to education, livelihood and a brighter future.