The Department of Energy (DOE) is determined to bring light to 3 million households more at the soonest possible time through its Total Electrification Program (TEP).
The energy family led by Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi appeared on Tuesday before the House Committee on Energy seeking support for its two billion peso 2019 budget which intensifies efforts to provide electricity access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the country.
"We are aggressively pursuing initiatives catering to the unserved and underserved areas of the country to promote inclusive growth. This initiative supports Ambisyon Natin 2040 - providing a strongly-rooted, comfortable and secure life for all Filipinos," Sec. Cusi said in his opening statement.
The Energy Secretary further emphasized that achieving total electrification is more than a budgetary matter. Bringing power to the remotest zones of the Philippines entails effective collaboration with distribution utilities given that unserved and underserved sectors are located within their franchise areas.
TOTAL ELECTRIFICATION BY 2022
Based on the 2015 census, the December 2017 data of the DOE pegs the current household electrification level at 88.3 percent, with 21 million of the 24 million households in the country having access to electricity.
In the proposed 2019 budget, the TEP accounts for about 25 percent or an initial allocation of P505 million. It 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 Region in the Visayas (79.3 percent) and MIMAROPA in Luzon (79.9 percent).
While the TEP envisions 100 percent electrification by 2022, Sec. Cusi also assured members of the House Committee on Energy that the energy family is working very hard to hit the target sooner.