by Lenie Lectura, 16 July 2015
The National Electrification Administration (NEA) said on Thursday that it has made electricity available to 4,744 more sitios in rural areas during the first semester of the year, bringing to a total of 25,257 sitios electrified.
Under the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), the state-run agency has committed to electrify 32,441 sitios until the end of President Aquino’s term in June 2016.
So far, it has achieved 78 percent of the target, utilizing P14.6 billion, or an average of P578,411.72 per sitio.
“The provision of electricity to unenergized sitios through the SEP is part of the Aquino administration’s social contract with the Filipino people. Hence, various strategies are being instituted to fast-track SEP implementation for all Filipinos to enjoy the benefits of electricity soon,” NEA Administrator Edita S. Bueno said.
The NEA and its partner-electric cooperatives (ECs) have electrified these far-flung sitios benefitting initial consumers of 142,329, or 711,600 Filipinos nationwide through the SEP.
For the period, Region 6 (Western Visayas) energized the most number of sitios at 680. Among the ECs, Cebeco I electrified the most number of sitios with 237.
Other ECs which contributed the most are Zamsureco I (173); Dasureco (158); Noneco (145); Quezelco I (140); Cenpelco (140); Anteco (136); Sukelco (123); Noreco I (122); and Panelco I/Kaelco (119). Regions 3 (Central Luzon) and 4A (Calabarzon) have posted the highest SEP accomplishment at 89 percent.
The co-ops which have energized the most number of sitios are Ormeco (895); Cebeco I (845); Ifelco (687); Dasureco (623); and Camelco (566). Eleven ECs, meanwhile, have fully accomplished their SEP targets. These are Inec (18); Panelco I (335); Batanelco (15); Penelco (44); Pelco II (15); Pelco III (3); Zameco II (30); Batelec I (28); Aleco (39); Banelco (147); and Lasureco (62).
Other NEA programs, Bueno said, include house-wiring and installation cost for initial 30 households, which were eventually increased to 60 households; accredited regional technical evaluators; created Sitio Implementation Unit in the Electric ECs; encouraged participation of civil-society organizations; issued unbundled price index of 5 MVA and 10 MVA substations; and seriously complied with the Commission on Audit rules and regulations.
It has also launched its Build-Back-Better Program this year with the issuance of policy and implementing guidelines designed to facilitate project implementation.
Likewise, the ECs have partnered with private organizations; enhanced basic regional services, such as procurement, training of additional linemen and electricians; signed memorandum of agreement between EC and local government units to ease compliance requirements; conducted parallel premembership activities; membership application and assistance to potential consumers; and realigned new projects or turned over to NEA excess electrification funds.