NEA Media Release


NEA, ECs vow completion of rural electrification projects by 2022

26 February 2018

With over 19,000 sitios across the country that remain without electricity, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and its partner electric cooperatives (ECs) have pledged their full commitment to complete all pending state-funded rural electrification projects by 2022. The commitment was made during the ECs General Managers' Session held recently at the NEA H.E.S Auditorium in Diliman, Quezon City that gathered 134 delegates, consisting of general managers, board members and representatives from 112 ECs. Addressing the EC participants, Administrator Edgardo Masongsong reminded them of their mandate to ensure that the benefit of electricity reaches every Filipino household. He also urged the ECs to come up with strategies to fast-track efforts in achieving energy access for all by 2022. "The ways of the past were already proven inadequate to the demands of the country's growing rural economy. We have to catch up, double our efforts and ensure that our services are more than enough to drive the Duterte administration's economic legacy after 2022," the NEA chief said. NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Engr. Artis Nikki Tortola, meanwhile, said there is still much work to be done but assured the ECs of the agency's commitment to providing necessary assistance to help them in carrying out the electrification projects. "The end goal is [to ensure] that all potential consumers are energized. NEA will adjust accordingly to the strategies that the electric cooperatives will be taking in order to [keep the projects within] the proposed timeline," Tortola said. Latest data from the rural electrification agency show there are still 19,740 sitios in the entire country that do not have access to electricity, most of which are in Mindanao with 8,535 sitios, followed by Luzon with 6,541 sitios and Visayas with 4,664 sitios. The figures are based on updates submitted by the ECs to the NEA in a series of Sitio Electrification Program (SEP)-Phase 2 summits conducted nationwide by its Corporate Planning Department, in coordination with the Accelerated Total Electrification Office, from November 2017 to February 2018. For this year, the NEA and its partner ECs target to bring electricity to 1,817 sitios--560 in Luzon, 552 in Visayas, and 705 in Mindanao. Further, the agency is requesting P5-billion from the national government to finance the 3,626 electrification projects under SEP for 2019. Last February 21, the NEA gathered the general managers of different ECs under its supervision to discuss, among others, the progress of rural electrification projects in their respective coverage areas. Before the assembly ended, the EC participants pledged their commitment to strongly support the government's Rural Electrification Program by fast-tracking the implementation of SEP, Barangay Line Enhancement (BLEP) and Household Electrification Programs (HHEP). They also committed to "complete and energize the REP projects for BLEP, SEP, HHEP for the year 2018-2022 and adhere to the rules and regulations of the NEA concerning the efficient utilization and timely liquidation of subsidy funds." ###


Power coop execs pledge to help ailing distribution utilities

23 February 2018

MALAY, Aklan—An organization of board of directors of electric cooperatives (ECs) has adopted a resolution creating a comprehensive program that will provide all kinds of immediate assistance to underperforming power distribution utilities. This is among a handful proposals introduced during the First EC Board of Directors Summit organized by the Philippine Association of Board of Directors of Rural Electric Cooperatives (PABREC) to help save some ailing coops from the brink of economic unviability. Over 600 participants from 99 ECs attended the meeting, which was held from February 16 to 17 at the La Carmela de Boracay convention center, to address different issues affecting power coop directors in the rural electrification sector. With the theme "A United Board of Directors for Stronger Electric Cooperatives," the gathering aimed to consolidate the various organizations of EC Board of Directors nationwide to effectively resolve the most pressing challenges facing the industry. PABREC is composed of Rural Electric Cooperative Board of Directors Association, Inc. (RECOBODA), Association of Board of Directors of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (ABDEC), Directors 8, and Western Visayas Board of Directors Association (WEVBODA). The resolution adopted by PABREC to create a program for ailing ECs was proposed by Felix Vergara, Jr., president of the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AMRECO). "We should have a program helping those ailing cooperatives. We should have a concerted effort in terms of helping our ailing ECs in resolving their problems," said Vergara, who is also the board president of the First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Fibeco). Other resolutions endorsed during the assembly include urging the 17th Congress to pass a bill expanding the supervisory powers of the National Electrification Administration (NEA); and another in support of the establishment of an EC Member-Consumer-Owners (MCO) Center at Clark Green City in Tarlac. NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong, meanwhile, reiterated to the summit participants the need to strengthen their movement to protect the gains of rural electrification, as well as the rights and interests of the power consumers. "You are in the electric cooperative to promote and protect the rights and interest of your electricity consumers. But you cannot do that individually. To be relevant, you have to bond yourselves into one strong movement," Masongsong said. The NEA chief urged them to solidify their ranks to help the Duterte administration realize its economic roadmap, particularly in terms of sustaining development in the rural areas, as envisioned in the AmBisyon Natin 2040. Other resource persons who also spoke during the two-day summit were Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Commissioner Josefina Patricia Asirit for ERC Chair Agnes Devanadera, NEA-EC Training Institute (NETI) Director Nora Rivera, NEA Institutional Development Department Manager Nollie Alamillo, and MCO Specialist Edmundo Pacamalan, Jr. ###


SavingBoracay: Akelco says waste-to-energy facility might be the key

20 February 2018

MALAY, Aklan—There might be another way around cleaning up Boracay without the mandatory closure of businesses that drive its economy. How? By putting up waste-to-energy facilities in the island. An official from the Aklan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Akelco) brought this up amid reports that a number of establishments in the area will be forced to temporarily shutdown after repeated violations of state environmental laws and regulations on proper waste disposal. Akelco general manager Alexis Regalado said a company has expressed interest to build a biomass-fired power plant in one of the three barangays comprising the island and they are giving it some serious thought. “We have already been approached about plans to establish a biomass [plant to convert] wastes [into at least] one megawatt [of power]. They said they already acquired a lot in Manoc-Manoc, where they want to put it up, but [its development remains to be seen],” he said. Regalado sees this as a possible long-term solution to mitigate the recurring waste management issues of Boracay. No less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself claimed recently that the island has turned into a “cesspool” because of its worsening sewage problem. The Akelco chief shared concerns that if this situation is left unaddressed, it will definitely affect many industries including their company, which earns a great deal of revenues from the hotels, restaurants and other businesses that operate in the area. Regalado considers Boracay as the “bread and butter” of Akelco because although it covers only 8,000 out of the total 151,000 consumer connections in their franchise area, it generates 55 percent or around P125-million of their overall average monthly income. “Definitely, Akelco will be affected if a lot of businesses will be closed, especially if they are big establishments,” he said. Investing in a biomass facility may not only prevent this scenario but it can also help address the growing demand of the island for electricity. During peak seasons, the top tourist destination in Aklan averages a total of 28 megawatts (MW) in daily power consumption and around 20 MW on quiet months. Accordingly, Akelco has also been pouring its resources to improve power supply and reliability in Boracay. Biomass facilities are among the many renewable energy development projects the National Electrification Administration (NEA) advocates under the leadership of Administrator Edgardo Masongsong. Masongsong was in Boracay over the weekend to attend the First Electric Cooperatives Board of Directors Summit, which was hosted by Akelco, at the La Carmela de Boracay convention center. ###


CDA-registered EC backs NEA decision to take over Abreco

20 February 2018

A member of a national federation of stock electric cooperatives (ECs) registered with Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) has expressed his full support to the National Electrification Administration (NEA) in taking over the management control of Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco). David Solomon M. Siquian, director of the Philippine Federation of Electric Cooperatives (Philfeco) and general manager of Isabela II Electric Cooperative (Iselco II), described the recent action by the NEA as a "positive approach" to save the ailing Abreco from total collapse. Philfeco represents 12 ECs that are registered with CDA, including Abreco. Last February 9, the NEA, through the Task Force Duterte Abra Power, exercised its step-in rights and took over the management and operations of Abreco, deactivating its Board of Directors and suspending its general manager, to pave the way for the electrification agency's efforts to rehabilitate the distribution utility. The NEA intervention happened days after the Philippine Electric Market Corporation (PEMC) issued a default notice and suspension notice to Abreco from the wholesale electricity spot market due to its failure to settle its financial obligation amounting to over P200 million. Siquian, Philfeco representative for the EC Council of Leaders during the 1st EC Board of Directors' Summit held in Malay, Aklan on February 16 and 17, believed the NEA takeover will redound to the benefit of the member-consumer-owners (MCOs) of Abreco. "Nakita naman ng buong electric cooperative community na sinuportahan din (ito) ng local government officials like the governor and the congressman. Ang kanilang intention doon is to save Abreco. It is not taking away Abreco from the member-consumers but saving Abreco from another failure," he said. Some of the Philfeco members also shared the same view, according to Siquian. "And it would be much better if NEA and CDA will work hand in hand in helping Abreco with its present crisis," he added. The NEA has the supervisory powers over ECs across the country, including those registered with the CDA, as mandated under Republic Act 10531, otherwise known as the "National Electrification Administration Reform Act of 2013.” NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong earlier announced that there would be an amendment into Office Order 2017-168, which he issued last September, to include Philfeco representatives as members of the Task Force Duterte Abra Power that will rehabilitate Abreco. The creation of the Task Force was due to the failure of the Abreco Board to lead the cooperative to meet the operational and financial standards and parameters prescribed by the NEA considering the material and significant adverse findings on its operations as contained in the Comprehensive Audit Report submitted by Electric Cooperative Audit Department (ECAD). Chaired by NEA Deputy Administrator for Electric Cooperative Management Services Atty. Goldelio Rivera, the Task Force shall perform the duties and responsibilities of an Electric Cooperative Board of Directors prescribed under NEA Bulletin No. 35. NEA designated Atty. Xerxes Adzuara as Project Supervisor, whose task is to supervise the management and operations of Abreco; Charito Mabitazan, on the other hand, is the Acting General Manager who will manage the day-to-day operations and ensure the efficient delivery of service to MCOs. Other members of the Task Force are Board presidents and general managers of neighboring ECs, namely, Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Inec), Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Iseco), and Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Beneco). The three are all triple-A rated power distribution utilities. The Task Force is expected to lead the cooperative to meet the management and operational standards and parameters set by the NEA to address the concerns of Abreco to better serve its MCOs. ###


NEA takes over ailing electric coop in Abra; rehabilitation underway

9 February 2018

In an effort to rehabilitate the ailing Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco), the National Electrification Administration (NEA) on Friday (February 9) officially took over the management and operations of the power distribution utility and deactivated its current Board of Directors. NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong accompanied the members of the newly created Task Force Duterte Abra Power in a meeting with the employees and officials of Abreco to help ensure a smooth takeover. This developed days after the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) issued the Notice of Default and Notice of Suspension against Abreco due to its failure to pay over P200 million in power supply bills. "With the recent development relative to the Notice of Default and Notice of Suspension issued by the PEMC, NEA is under obligation to take over the management and operations of Abreco to protect the welfare and interest of the electric cooperative and its member-consumer-owners (MCOs)," Masongsong said. Earlier, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi directed the NEA to address the financial and management problems of Abreco decisively, citing increasing complaints of poor and unreliable service from its MCOs. Abra Rep. Joseph Santo Niño Bernos also issued a statement urging the Department of Energy to intervene and stop the order of PEMC to suspend Abreco from the wholesale electricity spot market. To recall, Masongsong issued Office Order No. 2017-168 in September last year creating the Task Force to take charge of the rehabilitation of Abreco. The order was pursuant to Section 5 (a) Chapter II and Sections 4-A and B of Presidential Decree No. 269, as amended by Republic Act No. 10531. Chaired by NEA Deputy Administrator for Electric Cooperative Management Services Atty. Goldelio Rivera, the Task Force will serve as an Electric Cooperative Board of Directors prescribed under NEA Bulletin No. 35. To supervise the management and operations of Abreco, NEA has designated Atty. Xerxes Adzuara as Project Supervisor. Charito Mabitazan, meanwhile, has been assigned as Acting General Manager to manage the day-to-day operations and ensure the efficient delivery of service to MCOs. Other members of the Task Force are Reynaldo Lazo and Engr. Felino Herbert Agdigos, Board president and general manager (GM) of Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Inec), respectively; Atty. Gloria Corrales and Engr. Egdon Sabio, Board president and GM of Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Iseco), respectively; and Rocky Aliping and Gerardo Versoza, Board president and GM of Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Beneco), respectively. National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) national chairman Retired General Akmad Mamalinta joined the team in the takeover to coordinate the maintenance of peace and order and provide security. With the objective of re-engineering Abreco into an excellently performing distribution utility, the Task Force is expected to meet specific deliverables, which include conduct of election for Board of Directors; selection and appointment of a regular GM; establishment of a lean and mean organizational structure with competent workforce; come up with well-informed and participative member-consumers and stakeholders; plan and implement capital expenditures projects towards power reliability, system efficiency, and reduction of system losses; prevent power curtailment due to power shortages and outages; and achieve management and operational performance within the NEA parameters and standards. The Task Force was formed after the NEA Board of Administrators, in its Resolution No. 113 dated September 5, 2017, ordered the deactivation of the Abreco's Board of Directors due to its failure to lead the cooperative to meet the operational and financial standards and parameters prescribed by the NEA and considering the material and significant adverse audit findings on its operations as contained in the Comprehensive Audit Report. ###


NEA, KIAT approve project for distribution voltage upgrade in Ilocos Norte

30 January 2018

State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) recently signed a Record of Discussions with the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) approving the "Project for Distribution Voltage Upgrade in Ilocos Norte." The document was signed by NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong and KIAT vice president Sang Yi Park last January 22, 2018, during a simple ceremony held at the main office of the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (INEC) in Ilocos Norte. Present to witness the signing were Mr. Jae Hwang Lim, president of Bosung Powertec Co., Ltd.; Mr. Jae Han Go, president of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO); and Mr. Reynaldo Lazo, Board president of INEC. In a statement, NEA Administrator Masongsong expressed the agency's full commitment for the successful implementation of the project. "This project will help meet increasing demand for electricity in the northern part of Ilocos Norte, as well as improve electric service reliability for INEC's member-consumer-owners in the area," Masongsong said. The two-year-long project aims to support engineering, procurement and construction of a voltage upgrade distribution line in the country. It also seeks to contribute to the industrial cooperation and exchange of industrial technology and experts in the electrification sector between the Philippines and Korea. To ensure its successful implementation, KIAT enlisted the help of KEPCO and Bosung to work with INEC for the construction of distribution voltage upgrade in Ilocos Norte. NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Engr. Artis Nikki Tortola said the Korean government through KIAT will be spending $3 million for the project. Tortola said the project involves upgrading the Burgos Substation's two distribution feeders voltage from 13.2kV to 22.9kV, including the installation of 10MVA 69kV/22.9kV, its necessary protection and metering. In addition, the existing line hardware and special equipment, such as automatic circuit reclosers, lightning arresters, isolation switches and transformers will be replaced to conform to the 22.9kV voltage level. ###


NEA, JICA kick off pilot project to improve electricity distribution system reliability

30 January 2018

State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) has teamed up with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to help improve the distribution system reliability of the electric cooperatives in the country through the introduction of a smart grid technology. JICA tapped the expertise of the Tokyo Electric Power Company or TEPCO and its affiliated firm Takaoka Toko (TKTK) to work with the NEA for the pilot implementation of the Distribution Network Management System (DNMS) technology in the province of Batangas. NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Engr. Artis Nikki Tortola said the pilot project, which will run over the period of two years from 2018 to 2019, is expected to reduce the number and duration of power outages, leading to improvement in distribution system reliability. Tortola said the project is under JICA collaboration program with the private sector for disseminating Japanese techhnology for electricity distribution system and management in the Philippines. The Batangas II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Batelec II) has been selected as the pilot project site to demonstrate the effectiveness of the DNMS technology and to better understand the system configuration and operation. "It's a proven and tested technology. With that system, we hope that the electric cooperative that will be benefiting from this project will improve its reliability," the NEA deputy administrator said. The project kicked off during a meeting last January 18, 2018, participated in by representatives from the NEA, JICA and TKTK/TEPCO PG at the NEA headquarters in Quezon City. Included in the discussion were the activities to be carried out during the implementation phase of the project. Present in the meeting were NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong, Deputy Administrator Tortola, Engineering Department manager Engr. Ferdinand Villareal, Engr. Federico Villar, Engr. Bonifacio David, and Atty. Julius Lotilla, consultant for Diplomatic Relations and Coordination Office. ###


NEA gathers over 250 institutional managers, information officers in 1st EC Communicators' Summit

22 January 2018

Recognizing the indispensable role communication plays in advancing the rural electrification program, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) recently hosted its first-ever Electric Cooperative (EC) Communicators' Summit. Held at the NEA headquarters in Quezon City, the summit brought together a total of 255 information officers (IOs) and Institutional Services Department (ISD) managers from 117 ECs nationwide. The activity, which ran from January 18 to 19, carried the theme "Member-Consumer-Owner (MCO) Empowerment through Strong, Reliable and Effective Communication System." It aimed to set a consumer empowerment direction for the ECs through the introduction of a new NEA communications policy, which underscores the aggressive promotion of rural electrification program, and maximizes the utilization of traditional and new media to achieve sectoral objectives and respective corporate goals. NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong, in his message during the first day of the summit, stressed the importance of maximizing the utilization of the media, including social media, to advance the rural electrification program of the national government. "If we are able to do that, the minds of the Filipino people will be convinced that the only way for us to advance is for the rural folks and communities to maximize electrification to pursue medium and large scale economic undertakings, not just small initiatives, and not wait for the investors to come but for them to mobilize their own resources," the NEA chief said. At the same time, Masongsong underscored the need for continued partnership with the ECs and MCOs to achieve sustainable development in the countryside. He also called for a strengthened movement building of the ECs in order to protect the gains of the rural electrification. The gathering also provided an opportunity for ISD managers and information officers to discuss the challenges they face in communicating with the public and the possible solutions to address them. Another highlight of the summit was the election of the officers of the newly established League of Electric Cooperatives Information and Communications Officers Nationwide (Lexicon). Newly elected national officers of Lexicon were the following: Roel Venus of Ceneco (president), Jonathan Leysa of Sukelco (vice president), Morena Bautista of Ormeco (secretary), Rizalinda Reyes of Cenpelco (treasurer), and Clarence Ducusin of Iseco (auditor). The organization is expected to play an integral role in disseminating all industry related news and information for the welfare and empowerment of the ECs and MCOs. Summit declaration At the end of the summit, ISD managers and information officers issued a declaration, in which they recognized the crucial role they play in empowering the MCOs through strong, reliable and effective communication system. They also expressed their determination "to take bolder and sustained collective actions to inject new dynamism into the Rural Electrification Movement to promote sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth of and among members of the various sectors of the power industry." They likewise agreed to "strengthen inter-corporate integration, enhance the full potential of the partnerships forged between ECs, MCOs, and the NEA." Moreover, they pledged to "adhere to the principles of transparency, accountability, information dissemination and education as indispensable anchors for the attainment of the objectives of people empowerment." Cognizant of the significant contribution of the rural electrification movement in the pursuit of rural development, they also committed themselves to the authority and direction of the NEA "in setting the direction of the programs and initiatives of the country's electric cooperatives in consumer communications and empowerment." In the declaration, they also urged the NEA to, among others, "issue a comprehensive communications policy to commit ourselves into and to serve as the roadmap of electric cooperatives in crafting our respective communications program in pursuit of the goals of MCO empowerment." The two-day event was organized in coordination with the Philippine Association of Institutional Managers (Philaim), NEA Institutional Development Department, Corporate Communication and Social Marketing Office (CCSMO), and the NEA-EC Training Institute (NETI). ###


Fibeco boost efficiency with 24/7 Tawag Center customer service

16 January 2018

With the goal of putting up a reputation of a fast, efficient and responsive service to its client base, a Northern Mindanao power distribution utility has established a Tawag Center, a 24-hour call center, to enable itself to quickly act on immediate customer concerns. Based in Maramag, Bukidnon, the call center of First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Fibeco) operates seven days a week to serve member-consumer-owners (MCOs) from Valencia City and the municipalities of Damulog, Dangcagan, Don Carlos, Kadingilan, Kibawe, Kitaotao, Maramag, Pangantucan, Quezon, San Fernando, and Wao. "If there is a problem, we directly communicate with our consumers through our newly established Tawag Center," explains Fibeco General Manager Reynaldo Balaba. Launched in 2017, the Tawag Center has six consumer welfare assistants working in three shifts to handle inquiries, complaints and common concerns, such as power interruptions, broken utility poles, and loose or dangling electrical wires. Once a Tawag Center agent receives a concern from a consumer, they relay this to the maintenance unit, which then sends out a service crew to the location to assess and fix the problem as soon as possible. Arman Cantoy, manager of Fibeco Institutional Services Department, says that the goal of setting up the center is to make it easier for MCOs to raise their concerns. Since the launch of the facility, the number of complaints Fibeco directors receive from their MCOs has declined significantly. National Electrification Administration (NEA) Chief Edgardo Masongsong has lauded Fibeco's initiative to open the call center to immediately address its MCOs' concerns. "Providing a proper, accessible venue for the MCOs to vent out their complaints to the electric cooperative is a value-added service to the customers we serve," says Masongsong. "It is also an opportunity for the EC Management to address the issues and concerns properly and appropriately, obtaining for the distribution utility enlightenment to and support from the members themselves," the NEA chief adds. Upcoming electrification projects Currently, Fibeco has six substations in Camp 1 and Anahawon in Maramag; Dabong-dabong and Lumbo, Valencia City; Palma, Kibawe; and Barandias, Pangantucan. For more than four decades, it has partnered with NEA in implementing the government's rural electrification projects, completing the electrification of 196 sitios within its franchise area in 2016. To meet the increasing demand for electricity in the communities it serves, Fibeco also plans to build two more power substations in Valencia City and Don Carlos, on top of the 95 sitios currently undergoing energization.


NEA chief to MCOs: Take advantage of electricity to improve lives

28 November 2017

National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong has encouraged electricity consumers, especially those living in rural and remote areas of the country, to make use of the opportunities offered by electricity to improve their lives. Masongsong said this during the 37th Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) of Leyte IV Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Leyeco IV) themed "Strengthening Ties for Progress and Rural Development," on November 25 in Hilongos, Leyte. The activity gathered nearly 10,000 member-consumer-owners (MCOs) of the coop. In his message, the NEA chief highlighted the significant role that electricity plays in achieving sustainable development, particularly in rural communities. Thus, he urged the MCOs to take full advantage and optimize the availability of power services in their area to improve their lot. Masongsong also emphasized on empowering electricity consumers. "I am here to advance the cause of MCO empowerment because I believe that an EC's life expectancy is dependent on its ability to keep itself relevant to its primary and most important stakeholder—the member-consumer-owners," he said. Over the years, the NEA chief said, Leyeco IV has been a committed partner of the agency in the implementation of the Rural Electrification Program (REP). The coop was also commended for continually striving for excellence in fulfilling its mandate. Steered by Board of Directors (BOD) president Emmanuel Golo and general manager Brenda Flores-Ampolitod, Leyeco IV received an overall outstanding performance of AAA in the recent assessment of NEA. "You are continuing the tradition of excellence in the management of your electric cooperative. This is why I am elated to see former or retired employees, your former general manager and Board president attending your AGMA," Masongsong said. Leyeco IV is the distributor of electricity to Baybay City, Hilongos, Bato, Matalom, Hindang and Inopacan. To date, the coop's household connections reached at 68,197 in its entire coverage area. On November 24, Masongsong also graced the 13th Foundation Day and 6th Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) of Nueva Ecija II Electric Cooperative, Inc. - Area 2 (NEECO II-Area 2). Held in Palayan City Gymnasium, the activity drew 20,013 MCOs in attendance. Also, NEECO I conducted on the same day its 44th Founding Anniversary and 26th AGMA themed "Sustaining Progress" with the NEA chief as guest speaker. It was attended by 14,180 MCOs or 15.93 percent of the coop's total membership. ###


Marawi Power Restoration Rapid Deployment task force launched

16 November 2017

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has joined hands with various electric cooperatives and allied organizations in providing all the necessary assistance to ensure the speedy rehabilitation of the damaged distribution lines and power restoration in areas affected by the five month-long battle between the government troops and the ISIS-linked Maute terrorist group in Marawi City. Administrator Edgardo Masongsong on Monday (November 13) led the launching ceremony of the Marawi Power Restoration Rapid Deployment (PRRD) Task Force at the Lower Capitol Complex, with Housing Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr., field manager of Task Force Bangon Marawi. The Marawi PRRD Task Force is composed of the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (Amreco), the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (Philreca), the National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (Nagmec), the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) and other allied organizations. In his speech, Masongsong thanked the different electric cooperatives for responding to the call to help the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Lasureco), currently under the management of Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power. With the technical assistance, the NEA chief set a target of completing the power restoration and rehabilitation works in 15 to 30 days. "There are 34 electric cooperatives all over Mindanao that we are mobilizing to help Lasureco, to help Marawi, to help the Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power. We believe that our united effort to help our brethren living in this part of Mindanao - Marawi City and the whole of Lanao del Sur - will bring the development that we wanted," he said. Also, Masongsong announced that the agency is initially extending a loan amounting to P150 million to Lasureco that will be used for the procurement of the construction materials needed for the restoration of distribution lines. The said amount, the NEA chief explained, will be converted into subsidy chargeable to the funds for the reconstruction of Marawi. He said he already instructed Deputy Administrator for EC Management Services Atty. Goldelio Rivera and Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Engr. Artis Nikki Tortola to process the loan. "We are extending loan to the tune of P150 million so that Lasureco, the Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power will be able to procure [the necessary construction materials]," Masongsong said. Meanwhile, Amreco and Nagmec have initially committed to deploy crew and equipment. Amreco president Felix Vergara, Jr. said ECs in Visayas and Luzon which would also want help in the power restoration efforts could do so in the form of financial assistance. "Ang advice namin sa ibang gustong tumulong na nasa Visayas at saka sa Luzon, kasi mahirapan na tayong magpadala ng crew at hindi na siya practical, they can convert their contribution into cash," Vergara said. Also present at the launching ceremony of Marawi PRRD Task Force were Lasureco Acting General Manager Nordjiana Ducol, Nagmec president Sergio Dagooc, NCECCO national chairman Akmad Mamalinta, and general managers and Board presidents of different ECs in Mindanao. ###


Mindanao power coops urged to invest in R&D

16 November 2017

Mindanao electric cooperatives (ECs) gathered Tuesday (November 14) for a two-day refresher course on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) held at the Limketkai Luxe Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City. Gracing the activity was National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong, who urged the ECs to invest in research and development to remain competitive and to better address the challenges facing the power industry. He also recognized the need for the NEA to establish its own research and development unit. "I am advocating the establishment of a research and development unit in NEA. We need a pool of experts who can generate, consolidate and analyze data on the power industry," the NEA chief added. Masongsong likewise stressed that research is essential in policy formulation. "We in the electric cooperatives must, in our right, be experts in matters regarding power industry," he said. "We cannot move forward without research and development. We have to understand bilateral agreements and contracts. How do we protect the interest of our consumers if we don't understand anything about the industry? We owe it to our kids and grandkids," he explained. Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Beneco) general manager Gerardo Verzosa, meanwhile, shared their experience on WESM and other dynamics in the power industry to Mindanao ECs. "We do not shirk from sharing our best practices. Ultimately, we belong to one family. I just hope ECs here in Mindanao can gather enough information to better their performance and operations, and redound these to the greater benefit of Mindanao electricity consumers," he said. The Seminar Workshop on the WESM, which ended on Wednesday (November 15), is organized by the NEA-EC Training Institute in partnership with the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines. ###


Masongsong inaugurates electricity consumers hall in Cotelco

19 October 2017

National Electrification Administration (NEA) Chief Edgardo Masongsong led the inauguration ceremony to formally open the newly constructed multi-purpose covered hall of the Cotabato Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cotelco) dedicated to its member-consumer-owners (MCOs).

Administrator Edgardo Masongsong (6th from left) congratulates Cotelco Board President Jack Sandique (5th from left) on the opening of the NCECCO Multi-Purpose Hall at the Cotelco Compound, Barangay Manubuan, Matalam in Cotabato, last October 15, 2017. Also in the picture are Cotelco GM Godofredo Homez (4th from left) and other Board of Directors.

Together with Cotelco Board President Alfonso Jack Sandique, General Manager Godofredo Homez and other coop officials, Masongsong unveiled the marker of the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) Building at Cotelco compound, Barangay Manubuan, Matalam in Cotabato, last October 15, 2017. During the ceremony, General Manager Homez and Board President Sandique thanked Masongsong for the structure. They said the construction of the facility amounting to P5 million was made possible through the efforts and support of Masongsong during his term as representative of the partylist group 1-CARE in the 16th Congress. In his message before the coop officials and employees, Masongsong expressed his happiness and appreciation to Cotelco for promoting the NCECCO by naming the new facility after it. "I am happy and I am surprised that this is also dedicated to the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers," he said. Established early this year, NCECCO serves as a movement of the electric cooperatives (ECs) and MCOs towards strategic positioning in the power industry and in pursuit of socio-political-economic-cultural-environmental development through rural electrification. The NEA chief also said the construction of the building inspires him to pursue his other visions for the betterment of the electric cooperatives and their member-consumers, such as the establishment of a NCECCO Building in Metro Manila. "Ang lahat ng ating ginagawa ay para sa ikabubuti ng electric cooperatives at electricity consumers," he said. After the ceremony, Masongsong joined the 35th Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) of Cotelco at the Matalam Municipal Gym. This year's AGMA adopted the theme "NEA, Cotelco, Member-Consumer-Owners: Working Together, Forging Change for Sustainable Rural Development thru Rural Electrification Program." Cotelco is categorized as AAA Mega Large EC serving Kidapawan City and 11 municipalities in Cotabato. As of December 2016, the coop has recorded 137,572 members and energized 148,626 households including commercial, public buildings and industries. ###


NEA Rural electrification must continue to spur growth

17 October 2017

State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) will continue to push for the sustainable development of the nation's rural communities by providing electricity services to every Filipino household. NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong issued this statement during the 36th Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) of the South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Socoteco II) at the City Gymnasium, Lagao, General Santos City, on Saturday (October 14). With the theme "Strengthening Our Pillars of Commitment Towards Service, Members' Welfare and Empowerment," the AGMA drew nearly 15,000 attendees. Part of the program was the ceremonial switch-on of the Sitio Electrification and Barangay Line Enhancement Projects (SEP/BLEP) within the area coverage of Socoteco II. In his message before the member-consumer-owners (MCOs) present, Masongsong highlighted the importance of rural electrification to spur development and reduce poverty as envisioned in the "Ambisyon Natin 2040." Electrification is aimed at improving the living conditions of the Filipinos, particularly those in rural and remote areas, he said. "Hindi pa kumpleto ang rural electrification program hangga't marami pa ang mga mahihirap. Mangyayari lamang ito kung ang lahat ay umangat na ang antas ng pamumuhay at maaari natin itong marating kung patuloy nating susuportahan ang ating mge electric cooperatives," the NEA chief said. Masongsong, at the same time, reiterated his appeal to all MCOs to support the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) movement, as well as the proposal to establish an Electric Cooperative Consumer-Owned (ECCO) Bank that will cater to the financial interests of the electricity consumers. As part of the program, the NEA chief sworn in the newly elected members of the Socoteco II Board of Directors (BOD). He likewise led the symbolic mass oath-taking of the coop's member-consumers as members of NCECCO movement that seeks to unite and empower all the MCOs nationwide. Socoteco II is a triple-A rated electric cooperative and recipient of various awards, such as the Single Digit System Loss, EC Best Practice on Corporate Social Responsibility, and Fully Compliant EC on Reportorial Requirements, at the recent NEA Lumens Awards. Its franchise area include General Santos City, Sarangani Province, and Tupi and Polomolok of South Cotabato It also remains committed to its mandate on missionary electrification. To date, the coop achieved the 100 percent energization of the 205 barangays and is continuing to expand its distribution system to unelectrified sitios and puroks. For 2016, Socoteco II completed 141 electrification projects, 109 of which were funded by the coop's Reinvestment Fund and 32 were from the SEP and BLEP. To improve power reliability and quality, Socoteco II also plans to implement major technical projects, such as construction of 35 MVA Substation for Tambler, General Santos City; construction of 10 MVA Substation for Malandag, Malungon, Sarangani Province; increasing of capacity from 5 MVA to 10 MVA for Tupi, South Cotabato; and uprating of capacity from 10 MVA to 20 MVA for Alabel, Sarangani.. ###


NEA underscores local leaders role in rural electrification drive

16 October 2017

DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur – National Electrification Administration (NEA) Chief Edgardo Masongsong emphasized on Thursday (October 12) the integral role of local government leaders, especially those watching over the barangays, in ensuring the reliability of electricity service in their respective communities. Masongsong was the keynote speaker at the 6th Punong Barangays' Power Forum hosted by the Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Dasureco), which brought together over 300 barangay captains from one city and 14 municipalities under its coverage area. In his speech, the NEA chief apprised the local leaders of the state of rural electrification in the Philippines, laying stress on its significance to countryside development in accordance with his seven-point agenda for the agency under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. He said it is important for barangay leaders to remain actively involved in the implementation of rural electrification projects by the electric cooperatives to ensure the seamless distribution of electricity to the households. "Sometimes a gentle wind is more than enough to set the trees in motion, tripping our power lines. Our barangay officials are there to assist our linemen in dealing with this kind of problem,” Masongsong told forum participants in his native tongue. The administrator at the same time commended Dasureco for exhibiting exemplary operational performance in the past year, specifically for garnering consistent AAA rating in the recent assessment of the NEA, achieving 99 percent collection efficiency and single-digit system loss. Anchored on the theme "Leading Change," this year's Punong Barangays' Power Forum was held at the Center for Electric Cooperative Member-Consumer-Owners (MCOs), Dasureco Hilltop in Barangay Cogon from October 12 to 13. The two-day gathering was intended to empower the coop's member-consumers and advance rural electrification projects, such as the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP) and the Barangay Line Enhancement Program (BLEP), said Dasureco general manager Godofredo Guya. "This forum is already a practice of the electric cooperative for the last six years," Guya said, adding that they purposely convened the barangay captains to seek their assistance in dealing with right of way issues and in identifying potential beneficiaries of the free house wiring installation services. "Pagka ayaw pumayag ng land owner na maputol ‘yung mga puno ng niyog or any other improvements diyan sa kanyang lupa, hindi pwede na ma-extend natin ‘yung line. So malaki ‘yung role ni kapitan diyan, ni barangay chairman, kasi siya ang nakakaalam doon sa mga land owners. So with that, medyo wala tayong problema doon sa right of way acquisition," he said. The general manager said the annual forum provides barangay leaders access to more information about rural electrification, as well as the operations of the EC, thus enabling them to develop a thorough understanding of the intricate power distribution industry. A triple-A rated EC and recipient of Hall of Fame for Mega Diamond Award, Dasureco is the distributor of electricity in the provinces of Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental, covering one city and 14 municipalities. As of August 2017, the coop's membership has reached 143,359 and household connections at 166,843 in its entire coverage area. ###


NEA holds Renewable Energy Investors and Businesses Conference

4 August 2017

As part of the month-long observance of this year's National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM), the National Electrification Administration (NEA) recently hosted the Renewable Energy Investors and Businesses Conference, which gathered some 700 participants from 117 electric cooperatives nationwide. The event, held at the NEA H.E.S. Auditorium in Quezon City on Thursday (August 3), kicked off with opening remarks from NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong, who urged all electric cooperatives to pursue the use of mini-grids and distributed generation systems to provide electricity to the nation's remotest areas. The NEA is mandated to implement the government's rural electrification program. Masongsong said the government has set the goal to achieve ninety percent (90%) household electrification by 2017. However, energizing the remote and isolated communities is not easy, he said, citing the archipelagic characteristics of the Philippines as the biggest challenge. Two million households across the country are still without access to electricity according to the latest government electrification data. "The remoteness of many areas especially small islands scattered within the archipelago and the isolated upland communities make it impossible for all potential consumers to be connected to the main electricity grid," he said. Mini-grids, the NEA chief further said, offer a potential solution to provide electricity connections to remote communities that do not have access to the power grid. "Understandably, high upfront costs often make this approach prohibitive. Nevertheless, in increasing universal access to energy, these communities need a flexible, stable and reliable electricity supply for a sustainable socioeconomic development in these far-flung villages," Masongsong said. "Given the constraints in providing reliable and adequate electrification services in remote and isolated areas as well as assuring power supply sufficiency in the electric cooperatives’ franchise, the NEA wants to encourage the ECs to pursue the use of mini-grids and distributed generations," he added. Among the invited speakers at the Renewable Energy Investors and Businesses Conference were National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) Chairman Jose Layug, Jr. and Department of Energy - Renewable Energy Management Bureau (DOE-REMB) Director Mario Marasigan. Last August 2, NEA also held various activities in support of NEAM including the ceremonial switch-on of the 12 millionth consumer connection and the opening of the Renewable Energy Investors Exhibit. This year's NEAM coincides with the 48th Founding Anniversary of NEA on August 6. ###


NEA, ECs pay courtesy visit to Congress

4 August 2017

Some 1,200 representatives from 116 electric cooperatives (ECs) nationwide on Wednesday (August 2) made a courtesy visit to the House of Representatives to mark the 8th National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM) and the 48th Founding Anniversary of the National Electrification Administration (NEA). Leaders of the various electric cooperatives' and member-consumer-owner (MCO) organizations, accompanied by NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong and other key agency officials, paid separate courtesy calls on House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, House Majority Leader Rudy Fariñas, and House Energy Committee Chairman Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco. During the visit, the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) national chairman Akmad Mamalinta turned over a copy of the legislative proposals and policy papers of the group including the proposed amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 or EPIRA, the establishment of the Lineman Training Academy, and the creation of the charter for electric cooperatives. "The electric cooperatives and the member-consumer-owners presented a policy paper and legislative agenda for the consideration of Congress. We had a healthy conversation with the Speaker and the chairman of the Committee on Energy, as well as the Majority Floor Leader. We expect good development," Mamalinta said. Among the ECs' and MCO organizations which joined the trip to the House of Representatives were the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Associations, Inc. (PHILRECA), the Philippine Federation of Electric Cooperatives (PhilFECO), the Electric Consumers Advocacy of the Philippines (ECAP), the National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (NAGMEC), and the NCECCO. NCECCO is comprised of the Rural Electric Cooperative Board of Directors Association, Inc. (RECOBODA), Association of Board of Directors of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (ABDEC), Mindanao Coalition of Power Consumers (MCPC), No to Excessive Authority Advocate for Consumer Owners Movement (NEAADCOM), National League of Electric Cooperative Member-Consumer- Owners (NL-EC-MCO), Consumer Advocate for Rural Energy of Zamboanga Peninsula, Inc. (CAREZPI), and League of Electric Consumers Advocate for Reform and Empowerment of the Society (LeCARES). On August 1, Representative Velasco introduced a resolution recognizing the accomplishments of the National Electrification Administration and the National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM). The 8th NEAM coincides with the 48th Founding Anniversary of the NEA on August 6. Since 1969, the Rural Electrification Program through the NEA and its partner ECs successfully energized 78 provinces, 90 cities, 1,385 municipalities, 36,051 barangays and 118,632 sitios as of May 31. This represents 83 percent of the sitios within the NEA and EC coverage areas. ###


NEA electrifies 12 millionth consumer connection under REP

3 August 2017

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) on Wednesday (August 2) led the kick-off celebration of the 8th National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM) with various activities highlighting the gains achieved through rural electrification program. The opening ceremony of the NEAM and 48th NEA Founding Anniversary at the NEA Building in Quezon City was attended by some 754 representatives from 115 electric cooperatives (ECs) across the country. The main highlight of the program was the ceremonial switch-on of the 12 millionth consumer connection energized under the government's Rural Electrification Program (REP). The 12 millionth household connection is located in Tagum City, Davao del Norte within the coverage area of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Daneco). Also present to grace the occasion were Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Assistant Secretary Jonas Soriano from the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy. In his message, NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong underscored the gains of the government's rural electrification program. "Admittedly, the Rural Electrification Program needs to be continued and sustained," he said. Since 1969, Masongsong said, the partnership of NEA with the ECs in pursuit of the Rural Electrification Program has come to energize 78 provinces, 90 cities, 1,385 municipalities, 36,051 barangays and 118,632 sitios as of May 31, 2017. This represents 83 percent of the sitios within the NEA and EC coverage areas. NEA targets to energize 2,410 sitios this year and another 1,800 sitios in 2018, and the budget allotted by the government for the SEP is only P1.8 billion, Masongsong said. Masongsong said from 2011 to 2016, NEA has energized 32,441 sitios. The agency is on track to energize the remaining 23,681 sitios under the SEP in the next five years, he added. He further said NEA will need at least P23.681 billion to P25 billion from the national budget to fully energize the remaining sitios before President Rodrigo Duterte ends his term in 2022. On Wednesday, NEA also formally opened the Renewable Energy Investors Exhibit at the NEA Building. Masongsong and other NEA officials also joined the electric cooperatives in paying a courtesy visit to Congress. NEAM is celebrated annually every month of August in recognition of the vital significance of the electrification program in nation building. This year's celebration bears the theme "Ensuring the Gains of Rural Electrification through Enlightened Member-Consumer-Owners." Other activities scheduled within the month of August in support of the NEAM include the Renewable Energy Investors Conference, Electricity Forum, and Essay Writing Contest on Renewable Energy. ###


NEA leads nationwide celebration of National Electrification Awareness Month

1 August 2017

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is leading the nationwide celebration of the 8th National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM) with the theme "Ensuring the Gains of Rural Electrification through Enlightened Member-Consumer-Owners." NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong will officially kick-off the month-long celebration on Wednesday (August 2) with the Ceremonial Switch-on for the 12 Millionth Consumer Connection and the opening of the Renewable Energy Investors Exhibit, to be followed by the visit of the Electric Cooperatives to the House of Representatives. Expected to attend the NEAM celebration at the NEA Building in Quezon City are Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr., and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy. This year's NEAM coincides with the 48th Founding Anniversary of the NEA. The NEAM, which is celebrated annually every month of August in accordance with Proclamation Order No. 1743, recognizes the vital significance of the electrification program in nation building. As part of the NEAM celebration, Masongsong on Tuesday led the unveiling of the "I HEART NEA" welcome structure and the two new facilities for members of the media. Masongsong said the rainbow-colored welcome structure, located at the lobby of the NEA Building, symbolizes the state agency's "desire for relevance and be instruments of change." "This is not about sexual orientation. This is above the leadership preferences that we keep close to our chests. This is beyond politics and the hatred so common among us these days. And this is above personal biases and prejudices that distract and derail us from achieving our collective dreams," Masongsong said. "This represents our aspiration for significance in the consciousness of our people who deserve better service and a better country. This is the face of our vision where NEA stands mighty and proud as a vanguard of sustainable development thru rural electrification," the NEA chief added. Located inside the library at the ground floor of the NEA Building, the Press Working Area is a fully air-conditioned work station, which can accommodate 20-25 people. It has a dedicated internet and telephone connection. The Media Lounge and Briefing Room, meanwhile, is equipped with a wide-screen LED television, a multi-media screen for overhead-projected presentations, and a dolby surround sound system with executive chairs for press briefings and interviews. ##


Isolated no more: NEA vows to connect off-grid sitios

25 July 2017

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur—Knowing that energy connectivity makes a world of difference in the lives of rural Filipinos, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) is bent on reaching out to far-flung villages that remain isolated from the grid. One of these is Sitio Ayoke, a small fishing village off the coast of General Island in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, which the NEA plans to formally energize by setting up a submarine power cable system. The proposed infrastructure will connect the island community either straight to the main power grid of Surigao del Sur II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Surseco II) in Tandag City or passing it through the Libtong Cove in General Island. The end goal is to provide Sitio Ayoke access to electricity without relying too much on renewable energy sources. At the moment, the island community depends on its solar panels for power whose upkeep proved to be quite a challenge on the part of its residents. According to village councilor Analou Lumapguid, the batteries of their solar panels right now could only store 60 percent of energy, which is definitely not enough to get them through the night. She and majority of her constituents thus welcome the establishment of power lines. NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Engr. Artis Nikki Tortola together with key personnel of Surseco II visited Sitio Ayoke recently to test its feasibility for possible installation of an undersea power cable. This move is in line with the directive of NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong to pursue total electrification up to the last household in far-flung communities. “We need to continue our rural electrification program because it is not yet complete until we have energized the last remaining household,” Administrator Masongsong stressed in a press conference organized by electric cooperatives in Surigao del Sur last week. After surveying the location, Tortola said he has high hopes of developing the project through the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), which the NEA is determined to complete under the leadership of Administrator Edgardo Masongsong. “Ang programa ng gobyerno ngayon is total electrification to the countryside, at the same time, total household energization… Lahat ng mga sitio na kayang abutin o dapat abutin kailangan malinyahan,” Tortola told the residents of Sitio Ayoke last Friday (July 21). Surseco II general manager Iglorio Hinayon said energizing Sitio Ayoke was actually requested by Cantilan municipal mayor Philip Pichay who would like to maximize its potential as a tourist destination. “Yon ang gusto ng local government unit ng Cantilan na if there is a possibility that we could extend our submarine cable from General Island to Ayoke then much better. That will really encourage and help their tourism program,” Hinayon said. Surseco II has already been asked to come up with the design, cost estimate of the materials, and other details of the proposed submarine power cable. Hinayon said they are planning to submit it during the upcoming NEA week this August. Ayoke Island currently has an estimated population of over 500 and 96 households. It is among the roughly 4,210 sitios the NEA aims to fully energize this year or by 2018 under the second phase of its SEP with a budget allocation of P1.8-billion. ###


NEA chief leads ceremonial switch-on of SEP in Surigao del Sur

22 July 2017

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur – National Electrification Administration (NEA) Edgardo Masongsong on Thursday (July 20) spearheaded the switch-on ceremony for the electrification of sitios within the coverage area of the Surigao del Sur I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Surseco I) during the distribution utility's 46th founding anniversary celebration. Masongsong was assisted by Energy Undersecretary Benito Ranque, Surseco I General Manager Joceler Moralda, and the Board of Directors led by President Pacinta Saligumba. The switch-on ceremony was held at Surseco I's newly inaugurated Member-Consumer-Owners (MCO) Center in San Fernando, Bislig City. In his address, Masongsong thanked Surseco I for helping NEA in its continuing efforts to bring light to the sitios or far-flung areas in different parts of the country under the government's so-called Sitio Electrification Program (SEP). "Ang rural electrification ay kailangan ipagpatuloy kasi hindi pa ito tapos. Kahit na almost 100 percent na ang inyong electrification sa inyong mga sitios," Masongsong said. Citing Surseco I's data, he added, there are only 2,000 households that remain unenergized within the cooperative's franchise area. "The rural electrification is not just about construction of lines reaching the last household in our franchise area; it's about social and economic development in the countryside; it's about sustainable rural development through rural electrification," the NEA chief stressed. He further explained that the rural electrification plays an important role towards rural development as envisioned by President Rodrigo Duterte in realizing the Ambisyon Natin 2040, the government's 25-year roadmap to end poverty in the country. In 2016, Surseco I was able to energize 2,272 homes, bringing the total service connections of the cooperative to 74,747. Bislig City has the highest service connections, followed by Barobo, Hinatuan, Tagbina, and Lingig. Among the highlights of Surseco I's anniversary celebration were the blessing of the cooperative's newly renovated substations in San Fernando and Tabon, and the establishment of an MCO Center, which Masongsong helped finance through his annual development allocation when he was 1-CARE party-list representative. The San Fernando Substation underwent a rehabilitation of its feeder structure where a 69kV power circuit breaker was installed. The Tabon Substation, on the other hand, has been uprated from the previous 5 MVA (megavolt amperes) to 10 MVA power transformer. Surseco I is a triple A rated electric cooperative. At the NEA Lumens Awards held recently in Tagum City, the power distribution utility received the following awards and citations: AAA EC, Best Region, EC with Majority Female Board of Directors, and EC with Fully Liquidated Subsidy Fund for Rural Electrification. ###


NEA eyes 100 percent sitio electrification by 2022

21 July 2017

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is targeting 100 percent electrification of sitios across the country by 2022. Speaking at the 5th Annual Philippines Power and Electricity Week held at Paranaque City on Wednesday, NEA Chief Edgardo Masongsong said that from 2011 to 2016, the agency has completed the energization of 32,441 target sitios. Masongsong said 23,464 sitios in the country have yet to be energized through the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), and the cost to electrify one sitio is more or less P1 million. To enable NEA and its partner electric cooperatives to meet the target of energizing the remaining intended SEP beneficiaries, Masongsong said an estimated budget of P5 billion a year is needed. The state agency aims to energize 2,410 sitios this year and 1,800 sitios in 2018. The funding allotted by the Department of Budget and Management for the SEP next year is only P1.8 billion, he said. "We hope that by 2019 to 2022, we will be getting between P4.8-billion to P5.2-billion per annum so we will be able to energize all these sitios until 2022," Masongsong said. "By 2022," according to the former party-list representative, "we hope that the last household will be served with electricity." The NEA chief was invited to speak at the 5th Annual Philippines Power and Electricity Week on the current status of the Rural Electrification Program of the Philippine government. During the conference, Masongsong also discussed the challenges faced by the agency and the 121 electric cooperatives in the implementation of the rural electrification program, foremost of which is the devastation in the wake of natural disasters. He also talked about the initiatives being undertaken by the NEA to improve the financial and operational performance of the 10 electric cooperatives identified as "ailing." He also presented the five-point electricity agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte. Apart from Masongsong, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, were also among the invited speakers at the conference. ###


NEA, ADB bolster renewable energy initiatives

28 June 2017

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is keen on collaborating with the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and the electric cooperatives (ECs) under its charge to develop additional micro grid facilities and distributed energy resources (DER) in the country. NEA Head Executive Assistant Atty. Vicar Loureen Lofranco issued this statement following a three-day workshop on the subject sponsored by the ADB in its headquarters in Mandaluyong City last week. Lofranco said ADB Senior Technical Advisor on Energy Dr. Yongping Zhai expressed interest to continue working with the NEA in promoting clean and renewable energy (RE) in the Philippines by helping out on the mini-grid and DER projects of the agency. This partnership aims to realize total rural electrification and development of the EC franchise areas, primarily those located in island municipalities or the remotest villages of on-grid power coops, she noted. The workshop, held from June 21 to 23, was part of the capacity-building program of the NEA for non-profit rural energy companies and industry stakeholders to foster the establishment of more alternative sources of power especially in the outlying towns. NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong appeared on the third-day of the event and spoke before 151 participants from 51 ECs about the importance of developing renewable energy to complete various electrification projects of the government. “One of the agenda of the NEA is to carry out rural development through Rural Electrification Program. We realize that mini-grid systems offer a potent solution to remote communities without grid access,” Masongsong said as quoted by Lofranco. “And so we must endeavor to pursue the use of mini-grids and distributed generation for increased access to power and obtain sustainable socioeconomic development in these far-flung areas,” the administrator added. Lofranco said the participating ECs utilized the Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Energy Resources (Homer) model in their initial feasibility study for a potential micro grid system under the expert guidance of resource persons from the ADB Energy for All (E4ALL) Partnership. Among those who shared their output were representatives of Camarines Sur IV Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Casureco-IV) from Luzon, Bohol I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Boheco-I) from Visayas, Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Dasureco) and South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Socoteco-II) from Mindanao. “NEA continues to encourage the ECs to pursue the use of mini grids and distributed generation in its bid to provide reliable and adequate electrification service in remote and isolated areas in its franchise,” Lofranco said. The NEA official cited the case of Romblon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Romelco) led by its general manager Engr. Rene Fajilagutan as one of the off-grid ECs already benefiting from using a similar technology. Fajilagutan, who was present on the second day of the workshop, shared his story of bringing light to the far off Cobrador Island through a hybrid diesel power plant, a project also funded by ADB, which runs on renewable solar energy. “The NEA is grateful of its longtime RE ally, the Asian Development Bank, for supporting this initiative and partnering with the agency in its many endeavors in the pursuit of development through the Rural Electrification Program,” Lofranco said. Heavily involved in these undertakings are the NEA Office of Renewable Energy and Development (ORED) headed by Engr. Butch Silvano and the NEA-EC Training Institute (NETI) led by Director Nora Rivera. ###


Displaced Lanao Sur power coop employees in Marawi get financial assistance, relief aid

23 June 2017

ILIGAN CITY—Employees of the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Lasureco) displaced by the month-long armed clashes between the government forces and members of the Maute terror group in Marawi City have received financial assistance from different electric cooperatives (ECs). National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong on Thursday, June 22, spearheaded the turnover of relief goods and financial assistance to Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power, which currently manages Lasureco, in a simple ceremony held at the cooperative's satellite office in Iligan City. It was a joint undertaking of NEA and various electric cooperatives' organizations such as the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO), the Rural Electric Cooperative Board of Directors Association, Inc. (Recoboda), and the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (Amreco). Joining Masongsong at the ceremonial turnover were NCECCO national chairman and Recoboda president Akmad Mamalinta, NEA Deputy Administrator Goldelio Rivera, Amreco President Sergio Dagooc, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) consultant Pedrito Baculio, and representatives from GNPower Kauswagan. The NEA, NCECCO, Recoboda and Amreco turned over some P130,000 in cash and P300,000 in checks for a total of P430,000 to Task Force Duterte Lanao Sur Power headed by Acting General Manager Nordjiana Ducol. "I am really very thankful na apat na institusyon plus ang mga kooperatiba na nandito ngayon nagtulong-tulong, ipinapakita natin 'yung ating pakikiisa, 'yung ating pagtulong, 'yung ating pagmamahal sa bawat isa," Masongsong told Lasureco employees. Likewise, the National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (Nagmec) already passed a resolution granting some P150,000 while the NCECCO-Recoboda-Abdec (Association of Board of Directors of Electric Cooperatives, Inc.) are awaiting more donations to come next week. Administrator Masongsong said the NEA has also approved the grant of financial assistance to Lasureco convertible to subsidy and it will be released on staggered basis starting next week for working capital use. For her part, Ducol expressed her sincere thanks for the donations from various power coops and private companies. "Sa inyo po kami kumukuha lahat ng pag-asa para makabangon kami ulit," she said. "Nagpapasalamat po kami sa inyo. Sana hindi kayo magsawang tulungan kami." In addition, the Task Force also received 412 boxes of relief goods from the NGCP. The GNPower, meanwhile, donated 25 packs of relief goods and 25 sacks of rice. The NGCP likewise promised to give an additional 745 boxes of relief goods. The employees of Lasureco were among the thousands of civilians affected by hostilities in Marawi City. Since the fighting erupted on May 23, the Task Force Duterte has been continuously mobilizing its personnel to ensure the unhampered delivery of basic electricity services to the consumers within its franchise area. ###


NEA chief lauds Biselco for exemplary performance on its 34th AGMA

28 June 2017

For exhibiting exemplary performance, Busuanga Island Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Biselco) received commendation from no less than National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong during its 34th Annual General Membership Assembly on Tuesday (June 27). Biselco held its AGMA at the Coron Coliseum in Barangay Poblacion, Coron, Palawan under the theme "A Breakthrough: Through Unity, Perseverance and String Relations with Member-Consumers and Stakeholders." Some 1,200 member-consumer-owners (MCOs) of Biselco gathered to attend the event, which was highlighted by the presence of NEA Administrator Masongsong, who served as guest speaker, and Energy Undersecretary Benito Ranque, the guest of honor. Masongsong, in his message, congratulated Biselco for its exemplary performance especially when it continued serving the consumers despite the calamities such as Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. He also presented the new NEA vision and directions anchored on the nine-point agenda of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and the five-point electricity agenda of President Duterte. He also introduced the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO) and officiated the mass oath-taking for their membership to NCECCO. Undersecretary Ranque, on the other hand, emphasized the role of rural electrification towards rural development as envisioned by the President in realizing the Ambisyon Natin 2040, the government's 25-year long-term vision to end poverty in the country. Biselco is categorized as a medium-sized electric cooperative (EC) and an AA-rated EC with 100 percent collection efficiency, 10.38 percent system loss and a minimal unbundled average power rate for residential consumers of only P8.5449/kWh. Though it still has to energize some 39 percent potential households or 9,000, Biselco is at present has a demand of more or less 4.7MW served by the Calamian Islands Power Corp. (CIPC), which has an installed capacity of 7.5MW in Coron and 910kW in Busuanga. ###


NEA activates PRRD task force in the wake of Leyte quake

09 July 2017

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has organized the Power Restoration Rapid Deployment (PRRD) task force to assist the quake struck electric cooperatives (ECs) in Visayas, Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said over the weekend. Masongsong likewise stated the mechanism for a quick response fund is already being drafted in aid of power coops with ravaged facilities per the instruction of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi. “The NEA has mobilized the PRRD task force to make sure that power is restored in the quake-hit towns of Leyte and its neighboring areas sooner rather than later. I am also constantly in touch with the general managers of all the concerned ECs to check on their progress,” he said. Latest ground information from NEA Deputy Administrator Engr. Artis Nikki Tortola said all ECs in Eastern Visayas provinces and Bohol still experience blackout even though no significant damages have been reported in their distribution systems. Thus far, they are awaiting energization from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and other providers such as the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) whose power plant in Ormoc, Leyte was shut down shortfly after the quake. As of noon Saturday, NGCP said it has expedited the construction of a bypass line connecting its Tabango and Ormoc substations, which would carry power from Cebu to the affected islands of Leyte, Samar, Bohol and Biliran. It is expected to be completed by Monday. Update from Leyte V Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Leyeco V) said its 5MVA Tambis substation in Tabango, which was originally intended to cater for just three municipalities, has been spread out to cover the towns of Calubi-an, Matag-ob, Kananga and soon Palompon. Leyeco V general manager Engr. Juanito Jorda, Jr. thus advised all electricity consumers within their franchise area to conserve power amid a low voltage currently being experienced in the affected villages to avoid rotational brownout. “Please minimize the use of electricity during day time and use only necessary lights and appliances at night time. Avoid using air conditioning units, freezers, rice cookers, electric irons and other energy-hungry appliances at this time,” Jorda said. Meanwhile, the Department of Energy (DOE) also directed National Power Corporation (NPC) to run its diesel plant to augment electricity supply in Bohol. The NEA is closely monitoring its potential impact on the rates to ensure that customers would not be placed further at a disadvantage. According to Bohol I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Boheco I) general manager Engr. Dino Nicolas Roxas, price variance is pegged at more or less P3 per kilowatt hour compared to their average rate at this point and it cannot address their total demand. In his text message to the NEA chief, Roxas said Boheco I has a peak demand of 34 megawatts (MW). The NPC diesel power plant right now may generate only 16 MW and private distribution utility firm Bohol Light Company, Inc. also plans to utilize the same. “Based on our conversation with the plant manager, they will share the available power to the utilities in Bohol. We can also run our hydro plants (around 7 MW capacity) if we have already feedback power coming from the diesel power plant,” Roxas assured nonetheless. ###


NEA is audit compliant anew

11 July 2017

After clarifying some issues pertaining to its 2015 financial statement, the Commission on Audit (COA) once again declared the National Electrification Administration (NEA) as compliant with government transparency standards. The NEA was rendered an unqualified opinion for calendar years 2015 and 2016 based on the latest COA Independent Auditor’s Report (IAR). This enabled the agency to keep its reputable standing among state-owned corporations. Administrator Edgardo Masongsong welcomed this development especially since the NEA espouse absolute honesty as one of its corporate values. “We appreciate this opinion by COA and rightly so because we are building on the best practices of the former administration,” he said. “As we continue to advocate good public governance, trust that the NEA and the 121 electric cooperatives nationwide will remain assiduous in carrying out their collective mandate to stay on par with our state auditors’ expectations,” Masongsong added. The agency tasked to implement total rural electrification in the Philippines failed to secure a clear audit finding last year after COA found a significant variance amounting to P12.110-billion in its 2015 financial statement. The figure stemmed from the P20.247-billion balance of the NEA based on Bureau of Treasury (BTr) records minus the P8.137-billion year-end balance of account posted by the agency representing national government (NG) advances on its foreign loans between 1971 to 1989. Upon further assessment, however, COA said the NEA already recorded the unbooked interest on NG advances amounting to P6.499-billion and reversed the entry made for the Foreign Currency Adjustment of Prior Years amounting to P3.500-billion. “Further, BTr reversed in its books the amount of P2.111-billion representing maintenance of value risk. Accordingly, our present opinion on the 2015 financial statements is no longer qualified concerning this matter,” COA said in its IAR. The report signed by OIC Supervising Auditor Glorina Suson last May 23 covered the transactions, accounts and operations of the NEA for 2016 to determine the level of assurance that may be placed on the management’s assertions on its financial performance Also considered was the propriety of the transactions as well as its adherence to the existing rules, regulations and policies of the organization, and the extent of the implementation of prior year’s audit recommendations. ###