Electric cooperatives borrow P439.98M in 2020

PHILSTAR/EDD GUMBAN

TWENTY electric cooperatives (ECs) borrowed P439.98 million from the National Electrification Administration (NEA) in 2020, the bulk of which went to funding the distribution utilities’ capital expenditures and working capital needs, the NEA said Sunday.

The NEA, which oversees the rural electrification program, provides financial assistance to ECs through its enhanced lending program.

In a statement, the NEA said that P311.90 million went to 12 ECs.

The remainder, P128.08 million, was handed out as calamity loans. Around P25 million went to First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. or Ficelco to help rehabilitate its power distribution facilities, which were damaged by typhoons Quinta (international name: Molave) and Rolly (international name: Goni).

“The calamity loan, which bears an interest rate of 3.25% per annum, has a 10-year repayment term and one-year grace period,” the NEA said.

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The totals were provided by the NEA Accounts Management and Guarantee Department.

The amount exceeds NEA’s 2020 lending target of P245 million. “The P311.903 million translates into (a) 127% accomplishment rate,” the NEA said.

On its website, the NEA said it has 14 financing options in its enhanced lending program for ECs. Some of these include regular calamity and concessional loans, equity financing schemes for ECs, and subsidy releases.

Last month, the NEA reported that over 12,000 rural sitios still did not have access to electricity. NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong has said the agency needs additional funding for the sitio electrification program, which he described as “crucial for socioeconomic development.” — Angelica Y. Yang

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