The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has committed to fast-track the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the recently passed electric cooperatives (EC) emergency fund law.

Republic Act 11039, also known as the “Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund Act,” was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 29. The law provides the ECs with access to financial assistance during natural calamities for the immediate rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure.

Under the law, the NEA will manage and administer the Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund (ECERF). The agency is also tasked in formulating the IRR of the law, in consultation with relevant government agencies, within six months from its effectivity.

“The committee tasked to craft the IRR already now has a working draft and will conduct consultations with the Department of Energy (DOE) and other concerned government agencies.”

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said the committee tasked to craft the IRR already now has a working draft and will conduct consultations with the Department of Energy (DOE) and other concerned government agencies.

“We already have the draft. We will refer the IRR to the DOE for final comment before we submit (the document) for finalization,” Masongsong informed the Senate Committee on Finance during the hearing on the proposed budget of the NEA and other attached agencies of the DOE on Thursday, October 4.

The NEA chief made the statement after Senate Committee on Energy chairman Sen. Win Gatchalian, who presided over the budget hearing on Thursday, asked the state-run agency on the current status of the law.

Gatchalian said the IRR will pave the way for the full implementation of the ECERF, which will have an initial amount of P750 million to be drawn from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) funds.

“The committee composed of key officials of the NEA has scheduled a series of meetings this month to discuss the finer details of the IRR.”

“Kung meron na tayong IRR sana na-activate na ‘yung 750 (million pesos) because the intention really is to activate that. At least we don’t have any legal impediment when we have that IRR ready,” the senator said.

Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Engr. Artis Nikki Tortola said the committee composed of key officials of the NEA has scheduled a series of meetings this month to discuss the “finer details” of the IRR.

Tortola said the agency “will fast-track the formulation of the IRR” in time for the Senate plenary deliberation on the agency’s proposed 2019 budget scheduled on the third week of November.

Administrator Masongsong led the NEA in defending the agency’s proposed budget for 2019 before Senate Committee on Finance on Thursday. After deliberation, the proposed budget of the NEA was approved at the Senate committee level as well as those of the other agencies attached to the DOE.

 

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