by Myrna Velasco – February 5, 2016 (updated)
from Manila Bulletin
The government, via the team spearheaded by the Department of Energy (DOE), has been sorting out concerns that are seen as hurdles in meeting the targeted 90-percent electrification for households by 2017.
The DOE-led Household Unified and Strategic Electrification (HOUSE) met recently “to discuss the various commitments and implementation issues concerning the government total electrification program for grid and off-grid areas around the country,” the department has noted.
It stressed that the directive given by Energy Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada is to fast-track the connection not just of households but the energization of the remaining sitios.
“She specifically mentioned the completion of Sitio Electrification Program by end of first quarter 2016 as a commitment to the President,” the DOE has noted.
The Aquino administration is targeting to advance electrification and connection to household levels closer to the 100-percent before it steps down from reign in June this year.
The HOUSE team that has been pushing forward the state-run electrification venture also involved the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Interior and Local Government, National Power Corporation, National Electrification Administration and representatives from the distribution utilities.
The electricity service connection to households is the real last mile that the government has to accomplish to make such basic commodity flourish into every Filipino’s doorstep.
Barangay electrification gained traction in the past years, but bringing the service to households is another challenge that had been passed on to this administration.
Monsada previously noted that reaching the target would need some revalidation of figures – because if there are households or sitios already served, the expansion of population could often tilt the numbers from set targets.
Off-grid and the far-flung areas are not just technically challenging to electrify, the government would also need to ensure subsidies for end-users in these domains.