Press Release
October 25, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara called on the government to look into the roll-out of Renewable Energy (RE) technologies-such as solar, wind, biomass, tidal and hydro-in off-grid locations to improve access in areas which are still without electricity.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, cited a joint study from the World Bank and the Australian Agency for International Development showing that over 15 million Filipinos-roughly 16 percent of the population-still do not have access to electricity.

"The report points out that we are similar to Cambodia, Indonesia and many Pacific Island nations not only in terms of the high number of households still without electricity, but also in the slow pace of our electrification efforts. If we are to achieve meaningful economic development, we have to step up our efforts to bring electricity to off-grid locations immediately," said the veteran lawmaker.

As part of its P72-billion stimulus package, the Aquino administration recently released P6.5 billion in Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to local government units (LGUs) to be used in part for rural electrification of sitios and barangays.

Data from the National Electrification Administration (NEA) shows that while 99 percent of municipalities, cities and barangays had access to electricity as of June 2011, 31 percent of 103,489 potential sitios have yet to be energized. As the 9 millionth household was officially connected in August 2011, 3 million more consumer connections have yet to be served. The NEA is targeting total electrification by 2020.

"Government is definitely doing what it can to literally energize the countryside. But innovations in small-scale, stand-alone energy systems-like household photovoltaic systems, mini-hydropower, and stand-alone wind generators-can be deployed quickly while efforts are underway to connect more people to the grid," said Angara, author of RA 9513, the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.

He continued, "I hope our government would act with a greater sense of urgency on this. Electrifying households in the shortest time possible will not only improve welfare, but also broaden our base for economic growth."

News Latest News Feed