PGMA orders DOE to complete expanded rural electrification program before 2010
Manila (7 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo instructed on Tuesday the Department of Energy (DOE) to complete the government's Expanded Rural Electrification Program before 2010.
In her speech at the culmination of the four-day First Energy Summit at the SMX Convention Center of the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, the President gave out the order as she stressed that the government would increase its infrastructure spending to shield the country from the slowing down of the US economy and serve as a springboard for further economic growth.
"As of last month, there are now lights in all but three percent of the country's 42,000 barangays. We will wire up the remaining 1,400 villages before 2010," the President said.
"I have ordered a surge in infrastructure spending as a firewall against US volatility and as springboard for further growth. We are focused like a laser pointed on infrastructure boom and expansion of public services," the President stressed.
Providing electricity to every household in the country has been included in the President's 10-point pro-poor agenda.
The President, determined to uplift the lives of the poor, is aware that the lack of access to electricity in the country's poorest rural communities leads to limited job opportunities and low productivity among residents, which in turn serve to perpetuate poverty.
The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has said the electrification of the remaining 1,400 barangays is crucial as these are located either on top of boondocks, or are islands difficult to reach or areas with security problems. (OPS) [top]