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NEA holds Renewable Energy Investors and Businesses Conference

As part of the month-long observance of this year’s National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM), the National Electrification Administration (NEA) recently hosted the Renewable Energy Investors and Businesses Conference, which gathered some 700 participants from 117 electric cooperatives nationwide.

The event, held at the NEA H.E.S. Auditorium in Quezon City on Thursday (August 3), kicked off with opening remarks from NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong, who urged all electric cooperatives to pursue the use of mini-grids and distributed generated systems to provide electricity to the nation’s remotest areas.

The NEA is mandated to implement the government’s rural electrification program.

Masongsong said the government has set the goal to achieve ninety percent (90%) household electrification by 2017. However, energizing the remote and isolated communities is not easy, he said, citing the archipelagic characteristics of the Philippines as the biggest challenge.

Two million households across the country are still without access to electricity according to the latest government electrification data.

“The remoteness of many areas especially small islands scattered within the archipelago and the isolated upland communities make it impossible for all potential consumers to be connected to the main electricity grid,” he said.

Mini-grids, the NEA chief further said, offer a potential solution to provide electricity connections to remote communities that do not have access to the power grid.

“Understandably high upfront costs often make this approach prohibitive. Nevertheless, in increasing universal access to energy, these communities need a flexible, stable and reliable electricity supply for a sustainable socioeconomic development in these far-flung villages,” Masongsong said.

“Given the constraints in providing reliable and adequate electrification services in remote and isolated areas as well as assuring power supply sufficiency in the electric cooperatives’ franchise, the NEA wants to encourage the ECs to pursue the use of mini-grids and distributed generations,” he added.

Among the invited speakers at the Renewable Energy Investors and Businesses Conference were National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) Chairman Jose Layug, Jr. and Department of Energy – Renewable Energy Management Bureau (DOE-REMB) Director Mario Marasigan.

Last August 2, NEA also held various activities in support of NEAM including the ceremonial switch-on of the 12 millionth consumer connection and the opening of the Renewable Energy Investors Exhibit. This year’s NEAM coincides with the 48th Founding Anniversary of NEA on August 6. ###

NEA, ECs pay courtesy visit to Congress

Electrification sector goes aggressive on legislative agenda

Some 1,200 representatives from 116 electric cooperatives (ECs) nationwide on Wednesday (August 2) made a courtesy visit to the House of Representatives to mark the 8th National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM) and the 48th Founding Anniversary of the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

Leaders of the various electric cooperatives' and member-consumer-owner (MCO) organizations, accompanied by NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong and other key agency officials, paid separate courtesy calls on House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, House Majority Leader Rudy Fariñas, and House Energy Committee Chairman Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco.

During the visit, the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) national chairman Akmad Mamalinta turned over a copy of the legislative proposals and policy papers of the group including the proposed amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 or EPIRA, the establishment of the Lineman Training Academy, and the creation of the charter for electric cooperatives.

"The electric cooperatives and the member-consumer-owners presented a policy paper and legislative agenda for the consideration of Congress. We had a healthy conversation with the Speaker and the chairman of the Committee on Energy, as well as the Majority Floor Leader. We expect good development," Mamalinta said.

Among the ECs' and MCO organizations which joined the trip to the House of Representatives were the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Associations, Inc. (PHILRECA), the Philippine Federation of Electric Cooperatives (PhilFECO), the Electric Consumers Advocacy of the Philippines (ECAP), the National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (NAGMEC), and the NCECCO.

NCECCO is comprised of the Rural Electric Cooperative Board of Directors Association, Inc. (RECOBODA), Association of Board of Directors of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (ABDEC), Mindanao Coalition of Power Consumers (MCPC), No to Excessive Authority Advocate for Consumer Owners Movement (NEAADCOM), National League of Electric Cooperative Member-Consumer- Owners (NL-EC-MCO), Consumer Advocate for Rural Energy of Zamboanga Peninsula, Inc. (CAREZPI), and League of Electric Consumers Advocate for Reform and Empowerment of the Society (LeCARES).

On August 1, Representative Velasco introduced a resolution recognizing the accomplishments of the National Electrification Administration and the National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM). The 8th NEAM coincides with the 48th Founding Anniversary of the NEA on August 6.

Since 1969, the Rural Electrification Program through the NEA and its partner ECs successfully energized 78 provinces, 90 cities, 1,385 municipalities, 36,051 barangays and 118,632 sitios as of May 31. This represents 83 percent of the sitios within the NEA and EC coverage areas.


Isolated no more: NEA vows to connect off-grid sitios


25 July 2017

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur—Knowing that energy connectivity makes a world of difference in the lives of rural Filipinos, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) is bent on reaching out to far-flung villages that remain isolated from the grid.

One of these is Sitio Ayoke, a small fishing village off the coast of General Island in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, which the NEA plans to formally energize by setting up a submarine power cable system.

The proposed infrastructure will connect the island community either straight to the main power grid of Surigao del Sur II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Surseco II) in Tandag City or passing it through the Libtong Cove in General Island.

The end goal is to provide Sitio Ayoke access to electricity without relying too much on renewable energy sources. At the moment, the island community depends on its solar panels for power whose upkeep proved to be quite a challenge on the part of its residents.

According to village councilor Analou Lumapguid, the batteries of their solar panels right now could only store 60 percent of energy, which is definitely not enough to get them through the night. She and majority of her constituents thus welcome the establishment of power lines.

NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Engr. Artis Nikki Tortola together with key personnel of Surseco II visited Sitio Ayoke recently to test its feasibility for possible installation of an undersea power cable.

This move is in line with the directive of NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong to pursue total electrification up to the last household in far-flung communities.

“We need to continue our rural electrification program because it is not yet complete until we have energized the last remaining household,” Administrator Masongsong stressed in a press conference organized by electric cooperatives in Surigao del Sur last week.

After surveying the location, Tortola said he has high hopes of developing the project through the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), which the NEA is determined to complete under the leadership of Administrator Edgardo Masongsong.

“Ang programa ng gobyerno ngayon is total electrification to the countryside, at the same time, total household energization… Lahat ng mga sitio na kayang abutin o dapat abutin kailangan malinyahan,” Tortola told the residents of Sitio Ayoke last Friday (July 21).

Surseco II general manager Iglorio Hinayon said energizing Sitio Ayoke was actually requested by Cantilan municipal mayor Philip Pichay who would like to maximize its potential as a tourist destination.

“Yon ang gusto ng local government unit ng Cantilan na if there is a possibility that we could extend our submarine cable from General Island to Ayoke then much better. That will really encourage and help their tourism program,” Hinayon said.

Surseco II has already been asked to come up with the design, cost estimate of the materials, and other details of the proposed submarine power cable. Hinayon said they are planning to submit it during the upcoming NEA week this August.

Ayoke Island currently has an estimated population of over 500 and 96 households. It is among the roughly 4,210 sitios the NEA aims to fully energize this year or by 2018 under the second phase of its SEP with a budget allocation of P1.8-billion.###

NEA electrifies 12 millionth consumer connection under REP


3August 2017

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) on Wednesday (August 2) led the kick-off celebration of the 8th National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM) with various activities highlighting the gains achieved through rural electrification program.

The opening ceremony of the NEAM and 48th NEA Founding Anniversary at the NEA Building in Quezon City was attended by some 754 representatives from 115 electric cooperatives (ECs) across the country.

The main highlight of the program was the ceremonial switch-on of the 12 millionth consumer connection energized under the government’s Rural Electrification Program (REP).

The 12 millionth household connection is located in Tagum City, Davao del Norte within the coverage area of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Daneco).

Also present to grace the occasion were Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Assistant Secretary Jonas Soriano from the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy.

In his message, NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong underscored the gains of the government’s rural electrification program. “Admittedly, the Rural Electrification Program needs to be continued and sustained,” he said.

Since 1969, Masongsong said, the partnership of NEA with the ECs in pursuit of the Rural Electrification Program has come to energize 78 provinces, 90 cities, 1,385 municpalities, 36,051 barangays and 118,632 sitios as of May 31, 2017.

This represents 83 percent of the sitios within the NEA and EC coverage areas.

NEA targets to energize 2,410 sitios this year and another 1,800 sitios in 2018, and the budget allotted by the government for the SEP is only P1.8 billion, Masongsong said.

Masongsong said from 2011 to 2016, NEA has energized 32,441 sitios. The agency is on track to energize the remaining 23,681 sitios under the SEP in the next five years, he added.

He further said NEA will need at leasr P23.681 billion to P25 billion from the national budget to fully energize the remaining sitios before President Rodrigo Duterte ends his term in 2022.

On Wednesday, NEA also formally opened the Renewable Energy Investors Exhibit at the NEA Building. Masongsong and other NEA officials also joined the electric cooperatives in paying a courtesy visit to Congress.

NEAM is celebrated annually every month of August in recognition of the vital significance of the electrification program in nation building. This year’s celebration bears the theme “Ensuring the Gains of Rural Electrification through Enlightened Member-Consumer-Owners.”

Other activities scheduled within the month of August in support of the NEAM include the Renewable Energy Investors Conference, Electricity Forum, and Essay Writing Contest on Renewable Energy. ###

NEA eyes 100 percent sitio electrification by 2022


21 July 2017

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is targeting 100 percent electrification of sitios across the country by 2022.

Speaking at the 5th Annual Philippines Power and Electricity Week held at Paranaque City on Wednesday, NEA Chief Edgardo Masongsong said that from 2011 to 2016, the agency has completed the energization of 32,441 target sitios.

Masongsong said 23,464 sitios in the country have yet to be energized through the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), and the cost to electrify one sitio is more or less P1 million.

To enable NEA and its partner electric cooperatives to meet the target of energizing the remaining intended SEP beneficiaries, Masongsong said an estimated budget of P5 billion a year is needed.

The state agency aims to energize 2,410 sitios this year and 1,800 sitios in 2018. The funding allotted by the Department of Budget and Management for the SEP next year is only P1.8 billion, he said.

"We hope that by 2019 to 2022, we will be getting between P4.8-billion to P5.2-billion per annum so we will be able to energize all these sitios until 2022," Masongsong said.

"By 2022," according to the former party-list representative, "we hope that the last household will be served with electricity."

The NEA chief was invited to speak at the 5th Annual Philippines Power and Electricity Week on the current status of the Rural Electrification Program of the Philippine government.

During the conference, Masongsong also discussed the challenges faced by the agency and the 121 electric cooperatives in the implementation of the rural electrification program, foremost of which is the devastation in the wake of natural disasters.

He also talked about the initiatives being undertaken by the NEA to improve the financial and operational performance of the 10 electric cooperatives identified as "ailing." He also presented the five-point electricity agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Apart from Masongsong, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, were also among the invited speakers at the conference. ###



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