BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) will be implementing the household electrification intensification program under the nationwide intensification of household electrification.
Engr. Melchor Licoben, manager of BENECO’s Network Services Department, explained the energy department’s program is aimed at supporting the government’s thrust of total electrification by providing grants assistance fund to increase access to electricity services by eligible unelectrified households in partnership with distribution utilities and local government units.
He revealed the energy department will provide subsidy in the amount of P3,750 per household to be utilized for their house wiring for the immediate realization of the enhanced implementation of household electrification.
Section 2(a) of Republic Act No. 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 states that it is the policy of the State to ensure and accelerate the total electrification of the country.
Furthermore, Section 23 of the same law requires all distribution utilities like BENECO to provide universal service within their franchise, over a reasonable time from the requirement thereof, including unviable areas, in a manner that shall sustain economic viability of the utilities.
Earlier, the government has set the target of 90 percent household electrification by 2017 with the ultimate objective of sustainable and inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction through provision of the basic electricity services for all Filipinos.
Under the agreement between the energy department and BENECO, the government shall keep and maintain a record of accounts and the transactions on the project in accordance to the new government accounting system, verify and process the release of appropriate funds for the implementation of the project upon the effectivity of the agreement and in accordance to the terms and conditions stated therein, transfer the funds for the project equivalent to the quoted bid price of the winning bidder but not exceeding the maximum amount of grant assistance support directly to the account of the proponent consistent with the agreement and together with the proponent conduct verification and inspection activities of the project to monitor among other things, the accomplishments on the implementation of the project and fund utilization.
On the other hand, BENECO shall maintain an interest bearing checking account with the Land Bank of the Philippines exclusively for the project fund from which the fund shall be held in trust for the proponent and withdrawal shall be made by proponent’s authorized signatories in accordance with the new government accounting system, keep and maintain complete and separate books of accounts for the project fund in accordance with appropriate government accounting procedures, implement the project in partnership and coordination with the energy department and concerned local governments, conduct community organizing, site inspection and consultation meetings with beneficiaries among others.
By Dexter A. See