P500M budget eyed to power up unserved, underserved areas in 2019

MANILA The Department of Energy (DOE) will allot PHP500 million for the electrification of unserved and underserved areas next year, spokesperson Felix William Fuentebella told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday.

There are about 2.4 million households in the unserved areas. Adding those from the underserved areas would total to three million, and the DOE targets to provide electricity to all these by 2022, he continued.

"We pertain to the (electricity) quality when we talk about the underserved areas," he explained.

This week, the DOE requested a PHP2billion 2019 budget from the House Committee on Energy.

Fuentebella remarked that the bulk of this budget request goes to electrification. "Through the electric cooperative, we identify which areas don't have electricity and work on the electrification of these areas," he said.

The DOE said that in the proposed 2019 budget, the Total Electrification Program (TEP) will align all of its efforts on providing electricity services to about 14,320 households with the National Electrification Administration, the National Power Corporation, the distribution utilities, and other key stakeholders in the energy industry.

Initial DOE estimates have identified six regions with electrification levels falling below 80 percent.

"There are four in Mindanao, (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, 27.4 percent; Soccskargen, 65.6 percent; Zamboanga Peninsula, 67 percent; and Davao region, 68.2 percent), the Negros Island in the Visayas (79.3 percent), and Mimaropa in Luzon (79.9 percent)," the agency said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency