The National Electrification Administration said Monday it wants electric cooperatives to procure at least one satellite phone per EC for an efficient way of communication and reporting during and after the onslaught of calamities, disasters and other emergencies.
It said the Philippines is vulnerable to frequent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons and other related calamities or disasters due to its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire and Pacific Typhoon Belt.
“With these natural disasters present, not only the electric cooperatives’ distribution lines and facilities, but also telecommunication towers and equipment are vulnerable to damage and destruction that can hinder the immediate reporting of vital information about the status of damages and restoration efforts in the ECs’ franchise areas,” the NEA said in an advisory signed by deputy administrator for technical services Ernesto Silvano Jr.
The agency said the procurement of satellite phones should strictly adhere to the provision of Republic Act No. 10531 and its implementing rules and regulations, particularly on the Revised Procurement Guidelines and Simplified Bidding Procedures for Electric Cooperatives.
The NES said prompt reporting of the status of damages and restoration would guide the agency on extending assistance to the ECs.
The NEA aims to electrify 1,085 sitios under the Sitio Electrification Program this year. Administrator Antonio Mariano Almeda appealed to the ECs to fast-track the liquidation of their previously funded projects to get another round of the SEP budget.
“Liquidation should be timely, transparent and accounted for,” Almeda said.
The NEA said 10,212 sitios excluding those that are under the off-grid areas would be energized from 2023 to 2028.
“The estimated project cost for the energization of 10,212 sitios is P20.794 billion. For off-grid areas, there are about 23,000 households that need to be electrified so in total we will be needing P29.5 billion,” Almeda said.
The NEA intends to achieve total electrification by securing counterpart funds from the local government units, and if needed consider the participation of the private sector in off-grid and unviable areas.