Gatchalian urges NEA to provide electrification funding to BARMM

Gatchalian urges NEA to provide electrification funding to BARMM

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Of the P1.627 billion appropriation for next year’s
implementation of the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP), not a
single centavo has been earmarked for residents in the Bangsamoro
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

This prompted Senator Win Gatchalian to call the attention of the
National Electrification Administration (NEA) and prodded the agency
to re-allocate some of its budget to electrify the remote villages in
the said region under SEP.

“Please consider it because it’s one of the desires of our kababayans
in BARMM, to get electrified especially in that area surrounded by
insurgency. It’s one way to ward off insurgency by making sure
electricity is continuously flowing. Without electricity, there’s
poverty,” Gatchalian said in scrutinizing the P3.896 billion-corporate
operating budget of NEA in the 2022 National Expenditure Program

Newly-designated NEA Administrator Emmanuel Juaneza told the Senate
Finance Subcommittee E chaired by Gatchalian that the peace and order
situation has led them to exclude BARMM in funding SEP for next year.

“I think it’s common knowledge that BARMM is one of the poorest areas
in our country. We need to energize our sitios there to make sure that
the government is present and reaching out to those areas,” the Senate
Energy Committee Chairperson said. (ai/mtvn)

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