Rural electrification program gets additional P700 million funding
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - January 31, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Electrification projects are set to get an additional budget of P700 million this year, according to the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

This as NEA welcomed an increase in the budget for the continued implementation of electrification projects under this year’s General Appropriations Act (GAA). 

In a statement, NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong said the national government subsidy for rural electrification was augmented by P768 million from P1.53 billion in the national expenditure program (NEP).

Bulk or P1.398 billion of the budget was appropriated for the implementation of the second phase of the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP). The said amount is higher than the NEP’s P1.16 billion for SEP last year.

The funding of P500 million has also been provided to implement Republic Act 11039 also known as Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund (ECERF) Act.

The amount, however, is lower than the P750 million promised for the initial implementation of the ECERF, which will be taken from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF).

The ECERF Law, enacted in June 2018, seeks an orderly and continuing means of financial assistance to electric cooperatives (ECs) in the form of grants for the immediate restoration or rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure after a fortuitous event or force majeure.

Apart from this, P100 million was allocated for the Quick Response Fund, which shall serve as a stand-by fund for replacement and reconstruction of distribution facilities in the aftermath of calamities.

“The additional funding and the provision of emergency fund for electric cooperatives in the aftermath of calamities are a recognition of the key role that rural electrification plays in spurring social and economic growth, creating employment, and improving the living conditions of Filipinos in the countryside,” Masongsong said. 

NEA also welcomed the provision of P45 million for the establishment of Customer Management and Quick Response System for selected ECs.  

The selected ECs – Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative Inc. (CASURECO II), Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative Inc. (CENPELCO), and Tablas Island Electric Cooperative Inc. (TIELCO) – will receive a P15 million subsidy each.

Also included is the allocation of P145 million for the cost counterpart of the Philippine government on the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) donation for ECs in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The budget, on the other hand, for the electrification of local government unit/non-government organizations resettlement sites was decreased from P122.92 million to P109.96 million.

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