NEA Media Release

NEA: Power restored in some areas battered by Typhoon Ompong


State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) on Monday said power has been restored to several provinces in southern and northern Luzon after Typhoon Ompong (international name Mangkhut) ravaged the country and caused damages. Of the 22 electric cooperatives affected by Ompong, eight of which have restored full electricity service to all the municipalities within their respective coverage areas, said NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services Engr. Artis Nikki Tortola. These are Pangasinan I Electric Cooperative (Panelco I), Panelco 3, Batanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Batanelco), Quirino Electric Cooperative (Quirelco), Nueva Ecija II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NEECO II) - Area I, Zambales I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Zameco I), First Laguna Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Fleco), and Batangas II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Batelec II). They are now under normal operations. "Based on the submission of the electric cooperatives, out of the 22 electric cooperatives affected by Typhoon Ompong, eight ECs have actually energized all their municipalities. The rest are either partially restored or the power restoration efforts are ongoing," Tortola said. The initial estimated cost of damage to ECs is at P116.367 million based on the data gathered by the NEA as of September 17. Electricity services are partially restored to areas covered by 14 ECs, namely Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (INEC), Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Iseco), La Union Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Luelco), Cagayan I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cagelco I), Cagelco II, Isabela I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Iselco I), Iselco II, Nueva Vizcaya Electric Cooperative (Nuvelco), Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Beneco), Mountain Province Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Mopreco), Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco), Kalinga Apayao Electric Cooperative (Kaelco), Ifugao Electric Cooperative (Ifelco), and Aurora Electric Cooperative (Aurelco). Tortola said it could take days to a month before power is fully restored to the areas covered by these 14 ECs. "We have to understand that there are certain precautionary measures the electric cooperatives are following to ensure safety," he said. If needed, he said, the Power Restoration Rapid Deployment (PRRD) Task Force will be deployed by the NEA upon request of affected ECs to assist with power restoration in areas impacted by Ompong -- the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year. "Upon final determination of the extent of the typhoon's damage to EC distribution facilities, this team will come in to help in order to meet the target," the deputy administrator said. As early as September 10, Engr. Federico Villar, Jr., acting manager of the NEA Disaster Risk Reduction Management Department, said all ECs were directed to activate their emergency power restoration teams in preparation for the typhoon. Typhoon Ompong left the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Saturday evening (September 15). ###

NEA installs project supervisor at Occidental Mindoro electric coop


State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) has designated an officer tasked to supervise the management and operations of Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Omeco). NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong issued an office order on September 4, appointing Cesar E. Faeldon as project surpervisor of Omeco, effective immediately. "In the exigency of the service and pursuant to Sections 4 (e) and 5 of Presidential Decree No. 269 as amended, Mr. Faeldon is hereby designated as project supervisor of Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. effective immediately," NEA Office Order No. 2018-186 stated. As indicated in the NEA office order, Faeldon is also mandated to approve or disapprove Omeco Board resolutions in consultation with concerned departments in the state-run agency. He is likewise authorized to sign checks, withdrawal slips, and other banking transactions, as well as perform other tasks that may be assigned for the purpose of operational efficiency. Omeco is classified as an extra large electric cooperative and is rated C by the NEA based on the 2017 EC Overall Performance Assessment. It has 78,539 household connections covering nine municipalities of Occidental Mindoro. Its collection efficiency and system loss stand at 95 percent and 14.36 percent, respectively, as of March 2018. ###

NEA, electric coops reach 66 percent of new consumer connections target


State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) and its partner electric cooperatives (ECs) are still on course to meet the goal of delivering 460,000 new consumer electricity connections for this year. New consumer connections for the January-July period reached 304,674 or 66 percent of the target, according to the NEA Information Technology and Communication Services Department (ITCSD) data. Data also reveal that for July alone, an additional 44,450 connections were registered. This brings the overall level of energization to 12,491,166 or 83 percent of the total potential connections nationwide. Of the additional connections registered during the past seven months, majority of which were located in Region VI with 32,623, followed by Region III with 32,607, and CARAGA with 26,185 new connections. Biggest contributor among the 121 ECs is the Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Aneco) with 12,257 connections, then South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Socoteco II) with 7,744, and Batangas II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Batelec II) with 7,386 new connections. Other major contributor ECs are the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) with 6,372, Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cenpelco) with 6,359, Albay Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Aleco) with 6,024, Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Sukelco) with 6,006, Cotabato Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cotelco) with 5,401, Capiz Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Capelco) with 4,939, and Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Noceco) III with 4,768 new connections. Despite this progress, the NEA and the ECs continue to exploring ways to meet the national government's target of electrifying every household in the countryside by 2020. To speed up rural electrification, NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong identified a number of options which include government subsidies, funding under DOE's Energy Regulation No. 1-94 (ER 1-94) program, donations or grants, EC's internally generated funds, qualified third party (QTP) program, private sector participation (PSP), and EC's capital expenditure program. Masongsong recognized the role that electricity plays in accelerating economic development, particularly in the countryside. "Access to electricity is no longer a privilege but a human right because power brings development. Without power, there will be no development," the NEA chief said. ###

NEA approves new interim board for Albay electric coop


State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) has approved the establishment of new Interim Board of Directors (IBOD) for Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO). The NEA Board of Administrators passed Resolution No. 154 on August 29, approving the request of the Board Governance, Nomination and Remuneration Committee (BGNRC) for the creation of ALECO interim board. The new interim board will serve for a period of six months and will be specifically responsible for preparing the conduct of district elections for the regular ALECO board members. This developed after the ALECO stakeholders' meeting on July 27, 2018. The BGNRC, in its memorandum to the NEA Board dated August 20, endorsed the approval of the creation of the ALECO interim board. "In the exigency of service, and pursuant to the power of the NEA provided for under Presidential Decree No. 269, as amended by Republic Act. No. 10531, the Interim Board of Directors is hereby created to specifically prepare ALECO's distric elections," the resolution read. The nominees for the new ALECO IBOD are the following: Atty. Bartolome Roa Rayco, Rogerio Barrios Breta, Engr. Virgilio Serrano Perdigon, Jr., Edna Baria Zepeda, Vilma Villareal Rosayaga, Adelina Magallon Espartinez, Richard Roaring Atun, and Nicanor Salting Sambitan. In addition, the following sectors will be represented by their respective nominees: the Office of the Governor; the Municipal Mayors; the Office of Congressman, 1st District; the Office of Congressman, 2nd District; the Office of Congressman, 3rd District; the Diocese of Legazpi; the Albay Chamber of Commerce; the Academe; the Albay Power and Energy Corp. (APEC). It may be recalled that the NEA Board dissolved the old interim board of Aleco on March 16 through a resolution. The decision stemmed from the letter dated January 15, 2018 of Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara, requesting for the replacement of the existing Aleco IBOD. On April 20, NEA issued an office order designating Atty. Omar Mayo as the ALECO project supervisor with the task of facilitating the conduct of the EC district elections. ALECO is presently being managed and operated by APEC, a subsidiary of SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. ###

Use electricity to educate yourselves, not just for entertainment - Masongsong


Administrator Edgardo Masongsong has called on the public to use electricity wisely by being more conscious of their viewing habits, urging them to watch shows that would give them knowledge and valuable information instead of those that are made purely for entertainment. The National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief expressed these thoughts in a nearly 30-minute keynote speech he gave on Thursday (August 30) at the inauguration of the new headquarters of Nueva Ecija I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NEECO-1) in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. Masongsong recognized the fact that the rural electrification program in 49 years has allowed more Filipinos to gain access on television and other forms of mass media but he is hoping they are using these to educate themselves as well. “Sana nanonood tayo ng balita; nanonood tayo ng mga programang maghahatid ng kaalaman tungkol halimbawa sa pagnenegosyo dahil ito ‘yung adhikain ng rural electrification,” the NEA administrator said. “Sana ang tagumpay ng rural electrification program ay magtuloy-tuloy… Sana hindi lang hanggang panonood ng teleserye o hanggang entertainment ang dala ng programang rural electrification. Sana maitawid natin [mula sa] kahirapan [ang] ating mga kababayan,” he added. A study released in March last year by Kantar Media, a global media intelligence firm, said TV remains as the top media platform choice of Filipinos in rural and urban areas despite the presence of social networks and the Internet. “Time spent watching TV increased in the last two years to 3.7 hours from 3.4 hours. Primetime programs between 8 pm to 10 pm are the most watched,” according to its 2016 survey from a base of 10,000 respondents. Masongsong reiterated that there are still about 12 million Filipinos nationwide who are mired in poverty because of their lack of access to reliable electricity service. In the province of Nueva Ecija alone, approximately 24,968 households remain unenergized. To date, Nueva Ecija has served 94 percent or 401,132 household out of its 426,100 total potential connections. Masongsong congratulated the Nueva Ecija power distribution utility for ensuring active stakeholder engagement in its affairs through the dedication of its new office building to the member-consumer-owners. The NEA chief likewise told the NEECO-1 management led by general manager Bonifacio Patiag, his staff, and their Multisectoral Executive Council (MSEC) to keep working hard so they can sustain their growth. “You cannot sit on your laurels. You have done so much, you have accomplished so much, but please do not be complacent. We still have a lot of things to do in order to realize the vision of rural electrification, which is rural development,” Masongsong said. ###

NEA, ECs set line clearing, tree planting activities on Aug. 31


The National Electrification Administration (NEA), together with the electric cooperative (ECs), will conclude the month-long celebration of the 9th National Electrification Awareness Month (NEAM) with nationwide simultaneous line clearing and tree-planting activities on August 31. NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said the line clearing activity seeks to highlight the importance of consumer involvement in maintaining the distribution lines to ensure better and uninterrupted electric service to households in rural areas. Masongsong explained that trees are a common cause of power outages and interruptions within the coverage areas of the ECs. Trees when come in contact with power lines can also cause fire and safety hazards, he said. "With NEA at the lead and in cooperation with 121 ECs, we would like to emphasize that line clearing or clearing of vegetation within the distribution system of the ECs should be done regularly," the NEA chief said. "We are mobilizing not just the workforce of the ECs but to include their member-consumer-owners so that they will not just be blaming the ECs of the interruptions that are being caused by the vegetation," he added. The NEA and ECs will likewise conduct a tree-planting activity on August 31. This undertaking is also in support of the government's National Greening Program. "This effort has proven our resolve to actively support and directly contribute to our country's holistic approach to a Greener Philippines towards climate change mitigation," Masongsong said. NEA and ECs yearly hold a tree-planting program since 2012. NEAM is celebrated annually during the month of August pursuant to Proclamation Order No. 1743. This year's chosen theme is "Electricity Access for All: A Platform for Nation Building." ###

NEA eyeing solar PV systems to accelerate rural electrification


State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) is looking to solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and other alternatives to speed up the electrification of rural and remote areas, which has still about two million households waiting for steady, reliable power services. NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said the agency is exploring several strategies to light up the remaining sitios within the coverage areas of electric cooperatives (ECs) across the country that “remain in the dark.” Among these measures, Masongsong said, include low-cost renewable energy technologies such as the PV mainstreaming or solar home system which targets mainly “off-grid” areas. Of the 19,740 unenergized sitios across the country, NEA has identified 1,702 as "off-grid." These are found mainly in Mindanao with 1,003 sitios, followed by Visayas with 557 sitios, and Luzon with 142 sitios. Last August 14, Masongsong graced the gathering of representatives from NEA, the Department of Energy (DOE), LGU Guarantee Corporation (LGU-GC) and electric cooperatives (ECs) involved in the PV mainstreaming project under the European Union-Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (EU-ASEP) in Davao City. In his message, the NEA chief said ECs should take advantage of the opportunities extended by financial institutions such as the World Bank to electrify the remaining unenergized sitios. He also urged them to "think outside the box" to finance electrification of households given the limited subsidy from the government. "The challenge now for electric cooperatives is if you do not want to give up your franchise area, or a portion of it, even the unviable locations that are still unserved, you have to invest. The way to fast-track electrification is to install solar home systems, to adapt PV mainstreaming," Masongsong explained. For 2019, the NEA has been given a budget allocation of P1.163 billion for its sitio electrification program, and another P165 million for its renewable projects, which include the installation of 5,000 solar home systems. Solar PV mainstreaming PV mainstreaming is a program of the DOE, funded by the EU-ASEP through the World Bank. The LGU Guarantee Corporation (LGU-GC) serves as program manager while the NEA acts as an implementing arm, being the supervisory body of all ECs in the country. Pilot testing for the program’s first window included sitios under franchise areas of the North Cotabato Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cotelco), South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Socoteco II), Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Dasureco), and Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Sukelco). The pilot entails the installation of 10,000 solar home systems. Dasureco General Manager Godofredo Guya said solar home system is a cheaper and more viable option to energize the communities that are too far from the power grid, such as Sitio New Mabuhay in Barangay Little Baguio, Malita. Citing an example, Guya said “We’ve allocated 2,500 solar PV units for Barangay Little Baguio in Malita, Davao del Sur alone. With this solar home system there is no need for us to procure the right of way for our lines because there are no lines passing through the private properties of land owners.” Power reaches Sitio New Mabuhay The family of Myda Espinosa-Gunao, a resident of Sitio New Mabuhay, used to rely on kerosene lamps for their lighting needs. Things changed for Gunao's family and her fellow residents when electricity finally reached their small village earlier this month. The children can now study well at night under the glow of electric lights powered by solar home system, said Gunao, 48-year-old mother of seven. Having electricity also enable them to finish work and perform other household chores even after dark. "Mabuti 'yung merong solar kasi pati labas ng bahay naiilawan, at kahit may bagyo hindi namamatay ang ilaw namin. Hindi katulad noon lamparang de gaas kapag mahangin o may bagyo madaling namamatay," she said. Electrification data show 19,740 sitios in the country remain unelectrified. As of June 30, 2018, the NEA and its partner ECs have energized 1,801 sitios, bringing the number of sitios that do not have electricity down to 17,939. ###

NEA forms task force to address Zamboanga City's power woes


State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) has formed a task force and a management team to temporarily oversee the management and operations of a debt-saddled electric cooperative in Zamboanga City, days after the stakeholders' meeting. NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong issued Office Order No. 2018-073 creating the Task Force Duterte Zamboanga City Power (TFD-ZCP) "to address the deteriorating operational performance and financial conditions" of the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Zamcelco). Signed last August 16, the NEA order was pursuant to Section 6 of Republic Act No. 10531, otherwise known as the "National Electrification Administration Reform Act of 2013." The creation of TFD Zamboanga City Power was also in response to the clamor for the NEA to intervene by the stakeholders and local leaders of Zamboanga City while the rebidding for the investment management contract (IMC) is ongoing. The task force will be chaired and co-chaired by the presidents of the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (AMRECO) and the National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives (NAGMEC), respectively. Other members of the task force are the heads of the National Center of Electric Cooperative Consumers, Inc. (NCECCO), the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA), and the Philippine Federation of Electric Cooperatives (PHILFECO). Meanwhile, deputy administrators of the NEA Special Concerns Office (SCO), Legal Services Office (LSO), and Electric Cooperative Management Services (ECMS) have been designated to support the task force. As such, the TFD Zamboanga City Power will perform the duties and responsibilities an Electric Cooperative Board of Directors prescribed under NEA Bulletin No. 35. Correspondingly, the NEA formed a management team that will be composed by the general managers of different electric cooperatives, namely Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Zaneco), Zamboanga del Sur I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Zamsureco I), Misamis Occidental II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (MOELCI II), Cebu III Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cebeco III), Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Dasureco), Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Beneco), and Pampanga II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Pelco II). The management team is tasked, among others, to oversee the operations of Zamcelco, manage the day-to-day operations, review its governance policies and practices, and institute measures for reforms. It is also authorized to initially institute measures in the management and operational performance towards NEA standards "until such time that the engagement of an Investment Management Contract is consummated." "The functions of the current Board of Directors of Zamcelco shall be limited only to completing the engagement of an IMC," the NEA order read. Last August 10, NEA officials led by Masongsong met with Zamcelco stakeholders to discuss ways to address issues besetting the power utility. The meeting was attended by Zamboanga Representatives Celso Lobregat and Manuel Jose Dalipe, and Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar. Zamcelco has a system loss of 22.09 percent as of December 2017—higher than the cap of 13 percent set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)—and about P2.145-billion worth of debts to its power suppliers, including P373.897-million loan from the NEA as of August 9, 2018. ###

MOU inked to provide high-speed internet service to rural areas


GENERAL SANTOS CITY: Widespread availability of high-speed and affordable broadband in remote and rural areas of the country will soon be a reality through the electric cooperatives (ECs). The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) officially tapped the ECs under the supervision of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) for the "last mile" of the government's National Broadband Plan (NBP) project aimed at improving the internet access in the country. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was inked Friday (August 17) between the DICT, NEA and the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA), formalizing the tripartite collaboration "to realize the objectives of the NBP, including but not limited to the co-use of fiber optic cables." NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong and PHILRECA President Presley De Jesus signed the MOU on behalf of their parties. DICT Undersecretary Denis Villorente was represented by DICT Regional Director Erlito Tancontian, who also stood as witness. Also present to witness the MOU signing was Philippine Federation of Electric Cooperatives (PHILFECO) chairman David Solomon Siquian during the first PHILRECA-PHILFECO Joint Convention at SM City General Santos Trade Hall. "The NEA and DICT have started exploring arrangements to bring broadband connectivity into the countryside by tapping the existing infrastructure of the ECs," said Masongsong during the signing ceremony. "Let me affirm our full commitment and support to the National Broadband of the government. We will work hand-in-hand and rest assured our commitments will become realities," the NEA chief added. Under the agreement, the NEA and PHILRECA will coordinate with the ECs regarding the NBP project. The DICT, on the other hand, shall be allowed to connect or access the ECs' existing nodes so that it may link with other government agencies. In its tripartite agreement with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) last June 8, the DICT was given the right to use their dark fiber network. ###

NEA chief calls for unity among power coops amid challenges


GENERAL SANTOS CITY: National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edgardo Masongsong has called for unity among electric cooperatives (ECs) nationwide to surmount the continuing challenges the electrification sector faces today. Masongsong made the appeal during the joint convention of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (Philreca) and the Philippine Federation of Electric Cooperatives (Philfeco) held Thursday at SM City General Santos Trade Hall. In his speech, the NEA chief stressed the importance of collective strength in overcoming challenges as well as preserving the gains of rural electrification. "Unity is strength, disunity is weakness. The way to a successful endeavor is to gather together in unity. The way to thwart challenges is to confront it with a unified action," he told EC delegates gathered at the event. Masongsong said the Philreca-Philfeco joint convention, with the theme "United We Stand, Divided We Fall," was an opportune time for the ECs to introduce ideas and strategies that will be beneficial to their respective communities. "The challenge remains: to bring the ECs into the global sphere of empowerment in facing the challenges in the industry and maximizing opportunities through teamwork, unity and cooperation," he said. In the same breath, the NEA chief pressed on the ECs to be more aggressive and innovative in order for them to become globally competitive. "At the NEA, we call on you, our partners in the rural electrification, to be ever aggressive in the aim of being globally competitive electric cooperatives and endeavor all the more to be operationally viable, efficient and effective distribution utilities to be able to render the maximum benefit and quality service to our member-consumer-owners," he said. Further, the NEA chief thanked the ECs for their partnership in rural electrification program of the government since the state-run agency started its journey 49 years ago. "Ours has been quite a journey. We installed the lines of progress and spinned the engine of growth by bringing electricity to the industries, communities and households; and, worked together to power and empower the rural communities with the provision of access to safe, reliable and affordable electricity," he said. To date, the NEA and its partner ECs have successfully energized 12.447 million households nationwide. The Philreca-Philfeco Joint Convention and 39th Philreca Annual General Membership Meeting formally opened Thursday with 120 of the 121 ECs nationwide in attendance. Highlights included the launch of the newly-promulgated training regulations for the TESDA-NEA-EC Electric Power Distribution Line Construction (EPDLC). This developed following a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the NEA administrator and TESDA Director-General Guiling Mamondiong in December last year. Masongsong expressed hope that the improved EPDLC courses with TESDA would pave the way for the establishment of a Linemen Training Academy in the country. The convention will run until Saturday, August 18. ###