Government to energize 1,000 sitios/barangays with ₧1.89-B budget to bolster development in remote areas–DBM


The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. aims to provide electricity to more than a thousand communities for 2023 at a budget of P1.89 billion, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

In a statement issued on Thursday, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said the amount would fund the programs of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) under the 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA), including the Barangay/Sitio Electrification Project, Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency, and Installation of Solar Panels in Public Buildings.

The Barangay/Sitio Electrification Project will have the biggest fund at P1.68 billion, which will benefit some 1,140 sitios all over the country.

Pangandaman said rural electrification is vital to improve the quality of life of Filipinos and promote inclusive development.

“When we say we want to uplift the lives of the Filipino people, we mean all Filipinos, even those in the farthest barangays or sitios. And we cannot achieve socioeconomic improvement in these areas if their communities remain unelectrified. Kaya siniguro po natin na may pondo ang mga programa na magpapa-ilaw lalo na sa mga malalayong lugar [That’s why we ensured funding for these programs that would power up these far-flung areas],” she said.

The Barangay/Sitio Electrification project shall prioritize barangays/sitios where an absolute number of indigents and the incidence of poverty are high as identified in the latest official poverty statistics of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), as well as those with the high probability of having electricity.

“This program of the energy department will also support President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s goal to ensure that energy in the country is affordable, sustainable, secure, and sufficient, especially during calamities and emergencies,” Pangandaman said.

According to a Dec. 10 to 14 survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, around 96 percent, or 24.5 million Filipino households, have access to electricity.

Eighty-seven of those households with electricity were billed for their use, while 9 percent were not billed for their consumption.

For those who were billed, the average expense is P900 per month.

The median power bills would reach P1,500 per month in Metro Manila, P753 a month in Balance Luzon, P1,000 monthly in Visayas, and P800 per month in Mindanao.

For unbilled households, the national average expense for electricity is P400 a month—P750 monthly in Metro Manila, P500 per month in Balance Luzon, and P200 per month in Visayas and Mindanao. PNA