Despite the popularity of social media and the ever-increasing demand for high-tech gadgets in the Philippines, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian revealed on Sunday that more than one million Filipino homes are still without access to electricity.
Citing data from the Department of Energy (DOE), the Senate Energy Committee Chairman said electrification programs from previous administrations have so far failed to deliver power to all residential communities in the country, especially in rural areas and remote villages. .
In a statement, Gatchalian said the country’s electrification rate was 96% in March. The island of Mindanao, he said, had the lowest level of residential electrification at 86%.
“It is deplorable that in our time, more than one million rural households in the country are unable to reap the many benefits of electrification,” Gatchalian lamented.
“There must be a clear policy on which agency is responsible for pursuing rural electrification and that is why we must harmonize all existing electrification programs,” the politiko said.
To address this issue, Gatchalian said the DOE should come up with a unified strategy to ensure that all homes in the archipelago have a reliable source of electricity.
He said the agency created to lead the electrification program, the National Electrification Administration (NEA), had to wait for the DOE to fund its Sitio electrification program.
The National Power Corp. (NPC) also had to seek Department of Energy approval to fund its total electrification project, he said.
“The transfer of funds to NEA and NPC only prolongs the (electrification) process,” Gatchalian said.