Duterte signs new law to fund ECs in disaster rehab


President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday has signed into law the creation of a separate fund to provide electric cooperatives (ECs) with financial support for disaster relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

Republic Act (RA) 11039 or the Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund (ECERF) calls for the establishment of a a “comprehensive” emergency fund that will provide financial assistance to 121 ECs for restoration and rehabilitation of power facilities and infrastructure damaged by natural calamities, such as typhoons and earthquakes, and other fortuitous events.

NEA lauded the signing of ECERF saying that the new law will help address the needs of ECs that require subsidies when disaster strikes.

“We believe this new measure reflects the Administration’s commitment to support ECs and member-consumer-owners, as it assures the immediate rehabilitation of power facilities damaged by natural calamities and relieves ECs and MCOs of the financial burden stemming from the cost of reconstruction,” the state-run agency said.

P 750 million will be taken out from the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (NDRMMC) Fund for the initial implementation of the law.

The law also directs NEA to coordinate with NDRRMC to lay down policies for the law.

It will also require ECs to submit comprehensive and integrated disaster management programs that will be evaluated by NEA and NDRRMC.

The NEA will draft its National Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Plan (NECERP)

From the EC’s submissions, which will be incorporated with the NDRRMC Plan.

“NEA looks forward to working with Congress and the Department of Budget and Management to ensure that the budgetary requirements of RA 11039 are fully integrated in the 2019 NEA budget,” the state-run firm said.