Gatchalian pushes for unified electrification program.

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Senate Committee on Energy Vice Chairman Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian is looking to expedite the electrification of all households in the country, especially those in rural communities through a unified electrification program. 

Gatchalian said that the country’s total electrification remains unfulfilled. Data from the Department of Energy (DOE) says that household electrification is only at 95.56% in March. 

“There has to be a clear policy on which agency is responsible in pursuing rural electrification and that is why we need to harmonize all existing programs for electrification. Sa nangyayari kasi ngayon, dina-download pa ng DOE ang budget para sa NEA at NPC na nagpapatagal pa ng proseso,” Gatchalian said in a statement. 

Total electrification in the country is being upheld by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) through its Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), and the DOE through its Total Electrification Project (TEP). 

Currently, the DOE downloads the budget to NEA and to the National Power Corporation (NPC). 

Napakababa ng utilization ng DOE sa pondo nito para sa electrification,” Gatchalian said stressed, citing that the obligation rate of the electrification went down to 0.33% this year from 83.56% as of August last year. 

“It’s deplorable that in this time and age, over 1 million rural households in the country are not able to reap the many benefits of electrification,” Gatchalian said. 

Back in June, NEA said that they were able to connect 129,560 more consumers in the first quarter of 2022. 

Currently, the electrification in Luzon stands at 98.71%, Visayas at 96.97%, and Mindanao at only 86.39%. Most of the households that remain without power are located in Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Sulu provinces.