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NEA TO REMIT P1.3B UNUSED SUBSIDIES, DIVIDENDS TO BOLSTER COVID-19 RESPONSE — MASONGSONG

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) will remit around P1.35 billion to the national government to support efforts to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID) pandemic. 

This after the NEA Board of Administrators (BOA) approved the remittance of the P1,346,765,113 in unused subsidies and dividends to the Bureau of Treasury, as requested by the Department of Finance (DOF).

Of the amount, P1.26 billion represents unutilized subsidy funds received in 2016 and earlier, and P85.71 million in dividends to the national government for 2019 operations.

The latest move is pursuant to Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said the process of remitting this amount to the National Treasury is now underway. The latest move is pursuant to Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”

“The amount will help our national government facilitate the delivery of much needed assistance for many industries and livelihoods that were severely disrupted by the ongoing public health emergency,” Masongsong said. 

Meanwhile, the NEA extended for 30 days the payment deadline for loan amortization of electric cooperatives (ECs) due on March 31.

The payment extension is in consideration of the declaration of a state of calamity throughout the country for six months by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 929 signed on March 16. 

The NEA has been offering financial assistance to power co-ops, through various loan windows, to bankroll their various capital expenditure projects (CapEx) and rehabilitation of damaged distribution systems due to calamities. 

The agency’s lending program includes regular, calamity and concessional loans, stand-by and short-term credit loans, single-digit system loss loan, renewable energy loan, and modular generator sets loan.

Earlier, the NEA also allowed the ECs to secure short-term loans from sources other than the agency like banks, financing companies and other established financial intermediaries, as long as they are reasonable and appropriate. 

“We take cognizance of the ECs mandate to operate to ensure continued service delivery to the member-consumer-owners during the state of calamity. However, the financial condition of the ECs might be adversely affected due to the COVID-19 situation,” Masongsong said.

Under the NEA Loan Policy No. 14-A, ECs may borrow money from financial institutions to augment monthly collection deficiencies that would cover their power bills; to facilitate working capital requirements; and for the purchase of maintenance vehicles.

Terms and conditions of the loans must also be “fair and equitable,” such that repayment period shall not exceed three years; interest rates are reasonable, and at the lowest, if possible; and the amount of loan shall not exceed three times the EC’s average power billings.

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