The National Electrification Administration (NEA) needs at least P 25 billion to finalize the rural electrification project which will cover 2.4 million households nationwide.
The government needs about P 5.2 billion to realize the project from 2019 to 2022, NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said in a press briefing.
“The remaining un-energized areas have problems with accessibility, hence, Electric Cooperatives (ECs) need more budget to install power lines. The minimum requirement to energize a sitio is more than PHP1 million,” said Masongsong to PNA.
The project will only get P 1.1 billion, 21 percent of the annual budget requirement for 2019. The program got P 1.8 billion expenditure for 1, 800 sitios.
Masongsong said that private investors are a welcome option, should budget constraints limit the program’s effectivity.
The program aims to supply energy to sitios, provide household electrification, and establish mini-grid systems.
A community will have access to electricity through construction of power lines connecting to the main grid. Household electrification will include the installation of solar systems for each home, as planned under the sitio program.
“One alternative is the construction of micro-grid instead of building a line connecting remote communities to the main grid, which is very expensive. We will install local distribution system with a local power plant as a source,” Masongsong said.
Electrification in some areas has been difficult due to armed conflict, accessibility, and natural and man-made calamities, NEA admitted.
NEA chief reminded ECs of their mandate to ensure that electricity reaches every household. He also urged ECs to come up with strategies to hasten total energy access by 2022.
“The ways of the past were already proven inadequate to the demands of the country’s growing rural economy. We have to catch up, double our efforts and ensure that our services are more than enough to drive the Duterte administration’s economic legacy after 2022,” the NEA chief said.