The National Economic Development Authority and the Japan International Cooperation Agency has signed a P348.8 million grant aid for an energy project in conflict-affected Bangsamoro in Mindanao.
The grant aid for the Project for Improvement of Equipment for Power Distribution in Bangsamoro will upgrade the power distribution equipment of six electric cooperatives in the area.
The JICA aid will reduce the energy distribution losses in Bangsamoro to around 7 percent and assure power supply to nearly 44,000 households in the area.
“By helping resolve the power supply issues in conflict-affected areas, we aim to help the Philippines create more economic activities in the region,” JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito said.
NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia said that the project is seen to contribute to the long-term goal of decreasing the system loss by 13 percent and increase the line capacity by 130 percent.
“Beyond addressing the basic need to improve power supply stability in that area of Mindanao where household electrification level stands only at 72.38 percent, we also see this project as a confidence-building undertaking and a gesture of goodwill that will prove helpful as we continue to work towards achieving lasting peace and development in the region,” he said.
The project is set to be implemented by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) of the Energy Department.
JICA’s aid to Bangsamoro’s energy infrastructure is a part of its development cooperation with the Philippines.
The project is identified under the JICA-assisted Bangsamoro Development Plan 2 meant to jumpstart economic activities in Mindanao’s conflicted areas and draw up a medium – to – long term development plan (2016-2022) for the region’s development.