THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) said it needs a P9-billion budget to help achieve the target of full national electrification by 2022.
“NEA will appreciate a favorable action from Congress as initiated by the Power Bloc for the restoration of the original request for subsidy if only to fast track the national government’s Total Electrification Program,” NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong said in a statement late Monday.
Last week, House legislators belonging to the so-called Power bloc filed a resolution seeking to restore the P9 billion for next year, following a redirection of budget funds to the pandemic containment effort.
The government recommended a P1.8-billion budget for NEA in 2021, against the agency’s P10.8-billion proposal.
The proposal includes P1.6 billion for the Sitio Electrification Program and P200 million for an emergency and resiliency fund for electric cooperatives.
According to NEA, the Budget department-proposed electrification fund will only energize 1,085 rural villages or sitios. About 12,000 villages, equivalent to 1.7 million households, are still without access to electricity.
The NEA’s proposed budget will energize 3,915 more sitios, as well as “enhance” the grid connections of 74 barangays while also funding 13 submarine cable projects, the Power bloc said.
“To be able to fully and effectively implement the directive of President Duterte as well as to finally provide access to electricity for all Filipinos, the NEA should be given the full amount it has proposed,” they said in their resolution. House Resolution No. 1245 was written by Philreca Party-list Representative Presley C. De Jesus, APEC Rep. Sergio C. Dagooc, Recoboda Rep. Godofredo N. Guya, and Ako Padayon Pilipino Rep. Adriano A. Ebcas.
The NEA, which is tasked with energizing the countryside, has brought power to 123,726 rural villages, or 84% of its targeted 147,989 households, as of June. This is equivalent to 13.85 million consumer connections. — Adam J. Ang