DOE budget-cut to deprive 1,500 rural villages of power

Basic Energy sells unissued shares to VTE for strategic partnership

Around 1,500 rural villages in the country will still have no access to power next year after the funding for the government’s missionary electrification project was cut by Php 4 billion, the Department of Energy (DOE) said. 

In a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said that the budget constraints would affect DOE’s capability to electrify all residential areas in the country. 

During his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. promised to achieve total electrification by the end of his term. 

Lotilla noted that, as of 2020, the government has electrified 96% of households nationwide. Down 98% from 2015, due to the increasing number of houses in the country. 

In the Senate budget hearing, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said that a census conducted by the DOE in 2015 showed that around 800,000 million households were still without power. 

Gatchalian noted that this figure had already hit 1.8 million in 2020, 

For Sen. Risa Hontiveros, DOE should use its allotted Php 2.6 billion budget for 2024 to pursue programs promoting renewable energy development or push for projects that would connect more areas to the main power grid. 

Hontiveros further noted that the DOE must push to bring down electricity costs in the country by inspecting the services and operations of entities involved in generation and transmission, including the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).