THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) said it may not hit its target to bring power to about 460,000 targeted households this year after the first-half totals came in down 15% year on year.
Electric cooperatives connected 209,781 households between January and June, well behind the year-earlier pace. The new connections account for 46% of the agency’s 2020 target.
The lag in connecting households was due to quarantine restrictions, according to NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong.
“From the first quarter monthly average of 44,812 new connections, it dropped to 25,115 monthly during the second quarter. This accounts for a 44% or a 19,697 reduction in monthly new service connections,” NEA’s Information Technology and Communication Services Department noted.
Mr. Masongsong said the agency may not hit its electrification target this year with mobility restrictions still in place, coupled with unavailable construction materials.
He advised electric cooperatives “to speed up the procurement process or maximize whatever available electrical materials are in their respective warehouses, as well as mobilize their personnel, instead of waiting for the contractors.”
Earlier, NEA reduced the number of sitios or rural villages to be electrified to 635 from 964 under its Sitio Electrification Program, after some of its funding was reallocated to the government’s pandemic containment effort. Some P1.26 billion of its unutilized funds were remitted to the Bureau of Treasury, as requested by the Department of Finance.
The Philippines’ electrification level is now at 96.61% or 13.85 million powered households out of the total 14.34 million. — Adam J. Ang