P9B needed to meet NEA goal

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    A bill has been filed in Cogress that will restore in the budget of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) for next year a P9-billion allocation for its electrification program.

    NEA said House Resolution No. 1245 urges the House Committee on Appropriations to put back the amount in the original request for subsidy to fast track the national government’s total electrification program targetted to be attained by 2022.

    NEA initially proposed a P10.8=billion budget for the second phase of the sitio electrification program (SEP), barangay line enhancement program and the strategized sitio electrification for off-grid areas, among others.

    But the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) recommended only P1.8 billion to fund P1.6 billion for SEP and P200 million for Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund.

    NEA said the P1.6-billion subsidy for SEP will only energize 1,085 sitios out of the 12,000 sitios or 1.7 million households that remain without access to electricity.

    Power Bloc representatives Presley De Jesus of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association party list; Sergio Dagooc of Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives party list; Godofredo Guya of the Rural Electric Consumers and Beneficiaries of Development and Advancement party list; Adriano Ebcas Ako Padayon Pilipino party list explained in their resolution that restoring the proposed budget will allow NEA to energize additional 3,915 sitios as well as enhance the grid connections of 74 barangays and proceed with 13 submarine cabling projects. – J. Macapagal