The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has extended Php2.434 billion loans to 56 electric cooperatives (ECs) in 2016 to finance their rural electrification projects through its various loan windows, exceeding the agency’s target of Php1.7B.
This amount includes the Php603 million calamity loans availed of by 15 ECs for the rehabilitation of their distribution lines due to typhoons Lawin, Ferdie, Karen, Yolanda, Lando, and Nona. These ECs include Abreco, Beneco, Kaelco, Batanelco, Cagelco I, Aurelco, Omeco, Romelco, Ormeco, Lubelco, Maselco, Soreco I and II, Norsamelco and Bileco.
Provision of reliable and efficient electricity service to electricity consumers in the grassroots level is of the priority thrusts of the Administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Hence, to pursue this end, the Department of Energy (DOE) through the auspices of the NEA, continues to innovate and formulate strategic and more responsive measures that will aggressively address their urgent needs.
The onslaught of Typhoon Lawin in Northern Luzon in October 2016 strengthened the DOE-NEA-ECs triumvirate when massive efforts for power restoration and rehabilitation works were done in the areas covered by Abreco, Beneco, Aurelco, Cagelco I & II, Kaelco, among others.
Energy Secretary and NEA Board Chair Alfonso G. Cusi said, “Our priority is to ensure that people in the typhoon-affected areas be served with electricity on schedule. The DOE, in coordination with NEA, has organized and mobilized personnel to rehabilitate distribution lines and fast track power restoration through the Task Force Kapatid (TFK) operations to work double-time, especially in hard-hit areas”.
Aside from the mobilization of the institutionalized-Task Force Kapatid (TFK), NEA extended calamity loans to the Lawin-devastated ECs amounting to some Php119M in order to accelerate their recovery and subsequently effect immediate electricity service to member-consumer-owners.
Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong said, “NEA always pursues the causes of the ECs as well as its member-consumer-owners (MCOs). The Agency is constantly innovating and has been re-aligning its programs with the present administration’s policy directions to better address the needs and protect the welfare and rights of the consumers, much more the poorest of poor.”
“The NEA officials and employees feel the needs of the rural folks. We are committed to give them fair chances for a more comfortable life through provision of fast and better service. Our fervent prayer is that the National Government continues to recognize the significance of NEA and the Rural Electrification (RE) Program in the upliftment of the socio-economic condition of the people in rural communities,” he added.
Calamity loans are offered by NEA is normally processed within six days with 3.25% interest per annum, and a repayment period of 10 years but not to exceed the remaining franchise life of the EC. ECs which will avail of the loan service are given a grace period of maximum of one year. The amount of loan will depend on the evaluated cost of the rehabilitation and restoration project and subject to the availability of funds.