Rural electrification goal may not be met | Inquirer Business

Rural electrification goal may not be met

/ 07:09 AM October 09, 2023

MANILA  -The “meager” P1.6-billion budget for the National Electrification Administration’s (NEA) sitio electrification program next year will pose a “big problem” for the agency’s goal of providing power to all Filipino households by 2027, its top official said on Friday, as 1,500 sitios are at risk of not having access to electricity.

NEA administrator Antonio Mariano Almeda explained that they had originally proposed a P6-billion budget for the program, but the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reduced this to only P1.6 billion in the 2024 National Expenditure Program it had submitted to Congress.

This means that the number of sitios to be covered by the electrification program next year would be reduced to roughly 500 from 2,000, Almeda said.


READ1,500 rural villages still won’t have electricity


“That would be a big problem because we are only allowed to cover 500 sitios. Not even 1 percent would be added to the electrification level,” Almeda told the Inquirer in an interview.

At present, NEA data show that only 89 percent of Filipino households have access to electricity. Based on its five-year electrification plan, the NEA aims to increase this to 91 percent by next year, 94 percent by 2025, 97 percent by 2026, and 100 percent by 2027.

The NEA is an attached agency of the Department of Energy tasked with rural electrification.

Almeda noted that the NEA needed a P69.9-billion budget for the five-year electrification plan, and that they had originally set a P12-billion fund for 2024 alone.

READ: Gov’t has new tool to find areas without electricity

This was reduced to P6 billion, as Almeda recognized that the government may not be able to provide the entire amount.

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TAGS: Budget, National Electrification Administration, rural electrification

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