Work on some of the rural electrification projects funded by government subsidies has been affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) said.
NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong admitted that the implementation of projects, such as the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), is experiencing delays because of the continuing restrictions imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus disease in the country.
Completion of the off-grid solar project for 5,000 households has also been disrupted.
Masongsong said of the 841 sitios for electrification this year, 457 sitios are ongoing construction based on the data provided by the agency’s Total Electrification and Renewable Energy Development Department (TEREDD).
Meanwhile, around 187 sitios for energization are expected to face delays this year due to problems in the delivery of construction materials and restrictions on the movement of people.
“Merong mga 187 sitios na hindi kaya dahil talagang nahuli na [at] walang available na mga materyales tapos nung nag-lockdown hindi makabyahe ‘yung mga contractors. So ito ‘yung mga concerns natin,” Masongsong said.
The NEA chief also said the completion of the off-grid solar project for 5,000 households has also been disrupted due to delayed delivery of solar panels.
Around 187 sitios for energization are expected to face delays this year.
The national government has allocated a P153-million subsidy for the implementation of the solar photovoltaic (PV) mainstreaming project under the agency’s Expanded Household Electrification Program.
Latest data from the NEA Information Technology and Communication Services Department showed there are still 1,834,777 unserved consumers within the coverage areas of 121 electric cooperatives (ECs) in the country.
As of February 2020, the overall level of energization within the coverage areas of ECs nationwide is at 96 percent or 13,705,136 connections out of the 14,335,784 potential consumers based on the 2015 census.