by Lenie Lectura – February 19, 2016
from Business Mirror
THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) has extended some P2.019 billion worth of loans to 51 electric cooperatives (ECs) last year.
Among others, the money was used by the ECs to finance rehabilitation of damaged power-distribution systems mainly caused by typhoons.
Fourteen ECs filed for calamity loan worth P308 million, saying that typhoons Mario, Lando, Glenda, Nona, Ruby and Seniang severely damaged their distribution systems. Calamity loan has a term of 10 years of repayment period, with one-year grace period, with interest rates ranging from 3.25 percent to 4 percent.
A total of P82 million was extended to six ECs to finance their monthly shortfall on the settlement of their power accounts with the generation companies (gencos) and the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).
Meanwhile, Camarines Sur Electric Cooperative Inc. (Casureco I) availed itself of the standby credit-loan facility for power accounts amounting to P5 million to strengthen its creditworthiness with gencos.
Four co-ops in Mindanao, namely, Zamboanga City Electric Electric Cooperative Inc. (Zamcelco); Misamis Oriental Rural Electric Service Cooperative (Moresco I); Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc. (Daneco); and Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Surneco) secured loans amounting to P404 million for the procurement of modular-generator set in anticipation of the shortfall of power supply on the island, especially during the summer months.
Surneco alone availed itself of P187 million to pay for modular-generator sets and short-term credit facility.
“As part of the NEA’s mandate, the agency has developed a credit- guarantee program and facility for the ECs. This is to establish a power-supply guarantee to secure the power purchase of qualified ECs in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, Interim Mindanao Electricity Market, or under a bilateral contract with the gencos or NGCP,” NEA Administrator Edita Bueno said.
“The NEA also continues to find ways to make funds readily available for the ECs, particularly in times of natural and man-made calamities, for them to serve better their member-consumers,” she added.
The average number of days to release a loan is eight working days for regular loans and five days for calamity loans for 2015.
The 46-year old state-run agency has so far extended P33.318-billion loans to the 119 ECs nationwide to finance their rural electrification projects.