GMA  REITERATES  PLEDGE  TO  ENERGIZE  ALL  BARANGAYS  BY  2008

MALACANANG,  November 3, 2004
(OFFICE OF  THE PRESS SECRETARY)
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today reiterated her vow to bring electricity to the remaining 3,600 "un-energized" barangays in the country within the next four years as part of her P7 billion rural electrification program.

In a statement following the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) meeting with the Cabinet this afternoon, the President said she had not forgotten her promise in the last elections of providing reliable power and clean water at reasonable cost.

"I shall bring electric power to the remaining 3,600 barangays in 2008 at the cost of seven billion pesos. We have jumpstarted this program in the areas most deprived of power: Masbate, Palawan, the Samar provinces, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao," she said.

The President identified possible sources of funding, such as the proceeds of sale of natural gas from the Malampaya reserves, which is expected to shore up the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

"Reliable power and clean water at reasonable cost are our legacy to the average Filipino. I am optimistic about the future of our nation and our people, and together we can prevail against the odds and reach out for a better life for all," she explained.

The President empowered NAPC Lead Convenor Imelda Nicolas as power and water czar to muster all resources in attaining these goals as well as overseeing the implementation of targets and spearheading resource mobilization in the next four years.

Energy Secretary Vince Perez explained that out of the project cost of P7 billion, which is included in the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), the government would be spending only P2.3 billion from the national budget, while the rest would come from other sources identified by the government.

These are P926 million from the independent power producers (IPPs) contributions from the government-owned corporations, and royalties from the natural gas sales of the Malampaya project.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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