36% rise in poor’s income seen through electricity | Inquirer News
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36% rise in poor’s income seen through electricity

/ 12:01 AM November 21, 2016

DAVAO CITY—The new head of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) on Sunday vowed to help President Duterte bring electricity to the country’s remotest areas and lower power rates.

Edgardo Masongsong, former party-list representative for electric cooperatives who was appointed administrator of the government’s electric cooperative regulator on Nov. 18, said his office would prioritize “bringing light to the barrios because there is a correlation between access to electricity and improved incomes.”

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Quoting a study by Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Masongsong said “household access to electricity in rural areas is associated with a 36-percent increase in per capita income.”

“So you see the role that electricity plays in uplifting the lives of our countrymen,” Masongsong  said in a statement announcing his appointment.

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Electricity for progress

In his recent visit to Central Mindanao, one of the country’s most impoverished regions, Mr. Duterte had emphasized the need for rural electrification to bring progress to many areas.

Masongsong said one of the NEA’s priorities in his first 100 days as administrator would be to step up the implementation of the Sitio (sub-village) Electrification Program and Barangay Electrification Program in coordination with electric cooperatives nationwide and the government through the Office of the President, Department of Energy and Department of Budget and Management.

The NEA chief said his office would also push for measures to reduce power rates by addressing factors that affect electricity rates such as generation and transmission, distribution and supply costs, government charges like value added tax (VAT) and subsidies to so-called lifeline consumers, among others.

“As a former legislator, I believe my experience in Congress will help me work with my former colleagues so as we can introduce measures that will lower power rates and make the country more attractive to investors,” said Masongsong, former head of the Bukidnon II Electric Cooperative Inc. and representative of the party-list group 1st Consumer Alliance for Rural Energy. —FRINSTON LIM

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TAGS: Edgardo Masongsong, National Electrification Administration, Philippine news updates
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