By MYRNA M. VELASCO
Via its enhanced lending program, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) reported that the magnitude of loans extended to the country’s electric cooperatives (ECs) topped ₱700 million last year.
That had so far surpassed the ₱450-million loan target that the electrification agency had originally earmarked for the power utilities generally serving regional end-users.
Data from NEA’s accounts management and guarantee department (AMGD) showed that the agency extended ₱705 million worth of loans to 31 electric cooperatives.
Of the total amount, the agency indicated that the lion’s share of ₱658.090 million had been funneled to capital expenditure (capex) projects of the power utilities.
As emphasized, these projects range from construction of sub-transmission and distribution lines, substations, office buildings, rehabilitation and upgrading of distribution system to a mini-hydro plant.
The rest had been for the replacement of dilapidated poles and defective meters, and acquisition of vehicles and other tools and equipment.
NEA noted the biggest loan amount went to Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc. (ZANECO) for ₱104.50 million; and next to it is Camarines Sur I Electric Cooperative Inc (CASURECO I) with ₱60.963 million.
The other loan-beneficiaries had been Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CENPELCO) for ₱45.651 million; Dinagat Island Electric Cooperative, Inc. (DIELCO) for ₱45.298 million; and Sorsogon I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SORECO I) with ₱42.463 million.
Other ECs with loan availments had been: CASURECO I and Camarines Sur III Electric Cooperative Inc. for aggregate amount of ₱25 million, which NEA indicated to have been channeled to initiatives at “strengthening their credit worthiness with generation companies.”
Another EC that was extended a loan portfolio of ₱21.934 million had been Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SUKELCO) which utilized it for the procurement of modular generator sets.
For Abra Electric Cooperative (ABRECO), it secured ₱10-million calamity loan which it utilized for the rehabilitation of its distribution facilities that had been damaged by typhoon Ompong (internally known as “Mangkhut”).
NEA said the calamity loan sets leeway of 10-year repayment term and a maximum grace period of one year. It also carries an interest rate of 3.25 percent annually.