With typhoons aiming their blows on the country again, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) announced that it has been accelerating the release of loans to the country’s electric cooperatives (ECs), including calamity loans that they can use in the repair of their facilities.
Within January to August this year, the government-run electrification agency reported that the magnitude of loans released to ECs already hovered at ₱455.293 million.
As culled from NEA’s Accounts Management and Guarantee Department (AMGD), the bulk of the extended loans amounting to ₱380.293 million had been cornered by 16 electric coops. The amounts were mainly earmarked for their capital expenditure (capex) projects as well as working capital requirements.
Of the calamity loans approved for the power utilities, NEA emphasized that six electric cooperatives availed of at least ₱75-million loan package for the “repair and rehabilitation of their damaged power distribution facilities.”
In the initial months of this year, the electrification agency explained that the ECs – primarily those in the Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions – were still on catch-up mode on the repair of their facilities hammered by strong typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses within October-November stretch in 2020.
The electric cooperatives that availed of the calamity loans include Camarines Sur III Electric Cooperative (CASURECO III); Camarines Sur IV Electric Cooperative (CASURECO IV); First Catanduanes Electric Coopeative (FICELCO); Marinduque Electric Cooperative (MARELCO); Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (ORMECO); and Quezon I Electric Cooperative Inc (QUEZELCO).
“The calamity loan has a maximum 10-year repayment term, with a grace period of one year and an interest rate of 3.25 percent per annum,” NEA said.
As prescribed under the NEA’s enhanced lending program, the credit facilities it could grant to the ECs include regular loans, calamity and concessional loans, as well as those on short-term credit windows.
It is also in the electrification agency’s mandate to provide loans to the ECs in line with their targets to pare system loss to single-digit level; extend financing support to their renewable energy installations; and also for their procurement of modular generator sets.
The country’s ECs are seen leaning more on genset procurements next year as part of the government-underpinned contingency measures to guarantee uninterrupted power services, especially during the May 2022 election period.