P5.4B earmarked for NEA electrification program

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MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Energy has allocated P5.4 billion this year for projects that will provide electricity to all sitios (subvillages) and households, particularly those in far-flung areas in the country.

Data gathered from the National Electrification Administration showed that of the programmed budget, about P3.7 billion would be used for electrification projects covering a total of 4,988 sitios.

The remaining P1.7 billion will be used for the “barangay enhancement” program of the NEA. The agency is implementing these rural electrification projects in partnership with electric cooperatives.

Last year, NEA and its partner electric cooperatives spent about P3.5 billion in providing electricity to 6,163 sitios across the country. These electrification projects have benefited 53,688 households, or 268,440 Filipinos.

Of the covered sitios, 92 percent, or 5,704, are already energized. NEA aims for a 100-percent coverage of these areas once beneficiaries are able to secure service connection permits from concerned local government units (LGUs).

The NEA received from the government last year P4.053 billion, which was released in four tranches. Of the amount, P3.7 billion was programmed for electrification projects covering 6,451 sitios. It is expected that the electrification in the remaining 288 sitios that were not covered in 2012 will be completed soon.

The agency said it would fast-track the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), which formed part of 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 on the belief that electricity stimulates economic growth in the rural areas where it is needed the most.

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