THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) has extended P2.43 billion worth of loans to 56 electric cooperatives (ECs) last year.
The amount, which was spent for various rural electrification projects, exceeded the agency’s target of P1.7 billion.
This amount includes the P603-million calamity loans availed of by 15 ECs for the rehabilitation of their distribution lines damaged by typhoons Lawin, Ferdie, Karen, Yolanda, Lando and Nona.
“Our priority is to ensure that people in the typhoon-affected areas be served with electricity on schedule. The DOE [Department of Energy], in coordination with NEA, has organized and mobilized personnel to rehabilitate distribution lines and fast track power restoration through the Task Force Kapatid operations to work double-time, especially in hard-hit areas,” Energy Secretary and NEA Board Chairman Alfonso G. Cusi said.
Calamity loans offered by NEA is normally processed within six days with 3.25- percent interest per annum, and a repayment period of 10 years but not to exceed the remaining franchise life of the EC.
ECs that will avail of the loan service are given a grace period of maximum of one year. The amount of loan will depend on the evaluated cost of the rehabilitation and restoration project and subject to the availability of funds
“NEA always pursues the causes of the ECs, as well as its member-consumer-owners. The agency is constantly innovating and has been realigning its programs with the present administration’s policy directions to better address the needs and protect the welfare and rights of the consumers, much more the poorest of poor,” NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said.