THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) is pushing for the energization of over 1,000 sitios and electric connection to around half a million consumers in the countryside for 2023.

Luisa Hernandez, acting manager of the Corporate Management Department of NEA, said during the Philippine Electric Power Industry Forum 2023 on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, that around 1.1 million out of 14.3 million households in rural communities in the country have no electricity.

She added that the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. placed the improvement of the country’s energy sector as a priority, hence, rural electrification is vital for the social and economic development of the countryside.

Hernandez said they will maximize the use of subsidy funds for Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), Barangay Line Enhancement Program (BLEP) and household electrification to push forward.

NEA will also avail itself of funds from Energy Regulation (ER 1-94), a profit share of the host communities where a power plant is operating, and secure counterpart funds from local government units (LGUs).

It can also get funds from grants and donations from local and foreign institutions.

She added that the NEA is also looking forward to facilitating loans of P700 million to electric cooperatives this year.

The agency will also allow a qualified third party to enter into a partnership or a join venture in off-grid and unviable areas.

NEA also proposed that electric cooperatives include in their capital expenditure the costs of electrification projects in rural areas and fund generation plant and transmission lines projects.

The agency also vowed to intensify the implementation of the agency’s various programs, including the sitio/ barangay electrification program, strategized sitio electrification program, strategized household electrification program, solar schools electrification program and rate reduction through embedded generation facility. (EHP)