For consumers served by the country’s 121 electric cooperatives, electrification level already topped 14-million customer connections, according to the National Electrification Administration (NEA).
Based on data released by the agency’s Information Technology and Communication Services Department (ITCSD), the overall connection in the service areas of the ECs now hover at 14,008,603.
In the third quarter alone, the NEA reported that energization had been concretized for more than 150,000 new customers despite the hurdles of a pandemic.
The electrification agency fleshed out that of the total connections: the bulk of 6.574 million or 46.93-percent accounted for customers in Luzon; 3.747 million or 26.75 percent in Visayas; and 3.688 million or 26.32 million in Mindanao.
The Duterte administration targeted 100-percent electricity connections of Filipino homes nationwide; but the tug-of-war at this point resides on the budget for the program.
Notwithstanding the hurdles, NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong stated that the 14th million mark in electrification “is a testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment of the agency and the 121 ECs nationwide to provide electricity to the remaining households in remote and rural areas despite the coronavirus restrictions.”
Within this year, NEA indicated that customer-connections as of end-September at 365,856 already accounted for 80-percent of target which had been set at 460,000 connections.
On third quarter’s 156,075 new connections, the agency emphasized that “the number was higher
compared to the 75,346 new connections recorded in the second quarter and 134,435 consumers in the first quarter of the current year.”
The NEA conceded previously that there would likely be delays on its electrification targets given the movement restriction that impeded project implementations at the height of the lockdown period during the summer months.
On top of that, the agency is also fighting for higher budget that must be earmarked for the electricity service connections of new customers so the ECs could at least accelerate projects once the pandemic wanes.
Energy access in the far-flung communities and rural areas of the country is considered paramount so quality of life could improve and economic activities be stimulated in these jurisdictions that had so far been neglected for years.