PIA Press Release
Monday, January 09, 2012
PNoy greenlights P1.108-B to energize more sitios, barangaysMANILA, Jan. 9 -- President Benigno S. Aquino III instructed the Department of Budget and Management to release an additional P1.108 billion to the National Electrification Administration to further scale up the agency’s two major electrification programs.
Of the total amount, P518.92 million will be used to implement the Barangay Line Enhancement Project (BLEP) to improve electric services in 202 barangays, while P589.32 million will go to the Sitio Electrification Project (SEP), which will effectively connect 833 sitios to the nation's power grid.
The NEA has set a five-year target (2011-2015) for the implementation of the BLEP and SEP to improve electricity in 2,341 barangays and to light up 32,441 sitios all over the country.
“The P1.108-billion release will allow the NEA to provide electricity to off-grid sitios and other unelectrified communities, as well as improve the delivery of basic services in the countryside so that power disruptions and other connection-related problems are prevented,” Abad said.
The additional funds come on the heels of an earlier release of P814 million, made to the NEA in the last quarter of 2011. The initial release enabled the agency to energize 1,520 unconnected sitios, significantly more than the targeted 1,410. The release was charged against the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Malampaya Fund.
“In exceeding its set targets for sitio electrification, the Aquino administration, together with the DOE and the NEA, reaffirms its goal of connecting more un-energized communities to the national grid. By giving these sitios better access to electricity, we can empower more Filipinos—particularly those living in remote areas—into becoming productive members of their communities, and ultimately, of society,” Abad said.
He also noted the project’s positive impact on sitio residents, beginning with the creation of additional jobs among community residents, several of whom were hired as electricians and laborers. The electrification program also hiked up demand for electrical supplies, equipment, and logistical services, shoring up the construction industry in several areas.
“The response from locals has been very enthusiastic and encouraging. May mga residenteng natuwa dahil puwede na silang makinig ng radyo at manood ng teleserye. Other locals from Surigao del Sur even transferred their houses from the highlands to an electrified sitio so they could benefit from the project,” he said.
Abad added that the electrification of the communities will help locals take better control of their livelihoods and their overall economic progress. Residents living in off-grid areas are usually forced to minimize or cease all activity when the sun sets and visibility is poor.
“Many of us living in urbanized areas take electricity for granted, but for the residents of these communities, being connected to the power grid is a significant step toward improving their lives and strengthening their foothold in the economy. Children can now study better in the evening, and their parents can continue working well beyond the sunset,” he said.(DBM)