State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) marked its month-long observance of the 9th National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM) and the 49th Founding Anniversary of the agency by trumpeting the gains of the government’s rural electrification programs for nearly five decades.
In his welcome remarks at the opening ceremony of the NEA-EC Consultative Conference on Monday (August 6), Administrator Edgardo Masongsong highlighted the major accomplishments of the agency, in partnership with the 121 electric cooperatives (ECs) nationwide, since it was established 49 years ago.
“Since its establishment in 1969, the NEA has remained true to the mandate of bringing power to remote and rural areas, paving the way for a better life for many Filipinos across the country. For 49 years, NEA and our partner ECs have lit up the countryside and connected the farthest corners of the archipelago,” Masongsong said.
Citing the latest electrification data, the NEA administrator reported that as of June 30, NEA in partnership with ECs have energized 100 percent of all provinces, cities and municipalities. He added that 99 percent of barangays across the country have also been provided with electricity.
“All areas within the EC coverage are energized except the 10 barangays whose inhabitants are illegal settlers, declared permanent danger zones or with peace and order problems,” he said.
Meanwhile, of the 147,632 sitios, 83 percent or 123,151 already energized. About 12,446,716 or 83 percent of potential households are already served with electric service, which according to the Masongsong “translates into 61 million Filipinos in the countryside enjoying the benefits of electricity.”
Despite positive strides toward rural electrification, however, the NEA chief acknowledged there is still much work to be done to ensure electricity reaches every Filipino household.
“We will strive to attain our mandated mission which is to promote the sustainable development in the rural areas.”
“We will strive to attain our mandated mission which is to promote the sustainable development in the rural areas, pursue the electrification program through the ECs even in missionary or economically unviable areas and empower and enable ECs to cope with the changes in the electric power industry,” he said.
Present at the kick-off activity for the month-long celebration of the 9th NEAM and 49th Founding Anniversary were House Committee on Energy Chairman Lord Allan Jay Velasco, 1-CARE Party-list Rep. Carlos Roman Uybarreta and Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella.
In his inspirational message, Velasco recognized NEA and ECs for their accomplishments in rural electrification. He, however, also pressed on the agency and the ECs to continue to grow and innovate not just in technology but invest in global practices as well.
“For 49 years, NEA and our partner ECs have lit up the countryside and connected the farthest corners of the archipelago.”
This year’s celebration is focused on the theme “Electricity Access for All: A Platform for Nation Building.” It aims to give due recognition to the significant contributions of the electrification program in nation building.
Other activities lined up for this month include the EC officials’ visit to the Senate of the Philippines on August 7, Workplace Safety and Wellness Program on August 23 and 24, and a simultaneous, nationwide line clearing and tree-planting activities on August 31.