The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released P2.5 billion to the National Electrification Administration (NEA), reinforcing the government’s commitment to energize off-grid communities through the Barangay Line Enhancement Project (BLEP) and the Sitio Electrification Project (SEP).
“Too many Filipino families live without the benefit of electricity, and this alone seriously impairs their ability to jumpstart local economic growth. The latest release to NEA energizes the Aquino administration’s efforts to electrify these communities and empower them toward progress,” Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said.
Of the total release—chargeable against the 2012 General Appropriations Act—P2.0 billion will go to the SEP to electrify 3,408 sitios. The remaining P568.5 million will be used for line enhancement activities for 189 barangays under the BLEP.
“The President is determined to improve living conditions in impoverished communities, beginning with their electrification. Without electricity, off-grid families are unable to take control of their livelihoods because all economic activity halts the moment the sun sets. This forces residents to resort to expensive or inefficient solutions to meet their basic power requirements. Electrification will certainly change all that,” Abad said.
According to the DBM, it has also released a Notice of Cash Allocation for P1.25 billion or 50 percent of the P2.5-billion release to enable NEA to fully finance the initial funding requirement for beneficiary barangays and sitios. The fund will be downloaded immediately to Electric Cooperatives (ECs), allowing both NEA and all ECs to jumpstart the electrification program and meet their project deadlines.
The latest release augments the P1.1 billion that was given to NEA in January 2012 for the line enhancement of 202 barangays and energization of 833 sitios. The earlier release was charged against the government’s Malampaya Funds.
Abad confirmed that the P1.1-billion release has been fully disbursed to ECs, adding that the electrification and line enhancement of targeted sitios and barangays have already been completed.
“The P1.1 billion was intended to enhance the power lines of 202 barangays and electrify 833 sitios across the country. We’re pleased to announce that the government exceeded that target, successfully enhancing the lines in 207 barangays and connecting 885 sitios to the power grid. Moreover, the project was completed in just four months, starting from the fund release and culminating in its documentation,” Abad said.