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93% of Filipino homes now have access to electricity

/ 04:06 AM January 18, 2021

Efforts toward 100-percent electrification within the term of the Duterte administration continue to lag behind the goals as the accomplishment rate is still at 93 percent with just about 17 months to go.

In the latest status report on the implementation of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) of 2001, the Department of Energy (DOE) said there were 1.62 million households still without access to electricity.

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Based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, everyone should have access to electricity by 2030.

The DOE report showed that there were now 23.2 million households with access to electricity services, more than the 22.98 million counted in the census that the Philippine Statistics Authority conducted in 2015.

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Of the number of households that still have no electricity, 1.55 million are residing within the franchise areas of electric cooperatives.

With a total of 13.63 million households connected to distribution networks, electric cooperatives are serving only 89 percent of the 14.3 million households within their business areas.

The National Electrification administration (NEA), which oversees 121 electric cooperatives across the country, is implementing an expanded Sitio Electrification program, under which households are provided with two lights and one power outlet, including the wiring for the residence and the service wire that connects to the distribution network.

On December, NEA said it was looking for alternative steps to bring electricity services for the first time to more than 12,000 sitios or remote villages across the Philippines by June 2022.

The NEA said that based on the 2021 National Expenditure Program (NEP) as of December, only P1.6 billion was appropriated for the sitio electrification projects.

That amount will only benefit 1,085 sitios in the country while there are 12,467 sitios that still have no electricity.

But earlier this month, The NEA welcomed the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2021, which provides a budget of about P2.5 billion, 37-percent higher than the P1.8 billion allocated in 2020.

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Edgardo Masongsong, the NEA Administrator, said the increased budget would help expand funding for cooperatives’ borrowing needs as well as their electrification programs.

“We are pleased to receive this additional allocation of P670 million to support the program, especially the emergency funds for the electric cooperatives during calamities.” INQ

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