Challenges and Strategies of Rural Electrification Program for Electric Cooperatives in Central Luzon, Philippines
Maria Liza Marcelo-Galapon
College of Public Administration and Governance, Tarlac State University, Philippines
The Philippine government strongly advocates the Rural Electrification Program for over 50 years, purposely to generate better opportunities that would propel socio-economic development. Various rural electrification initiatives were then established to attain universal electricity access but actual accomplishments continue to lag behind the targets. This study delved into the Rural Electrification Program of four (4) Electric Cooperatives in Central Luzon, Philippines, and assessed its impacts on poverty, health and well-being, quality of education, economic growth and development, industry and infrastructure, and climate change. A descriptive research design was applied and used qualitative and quantitative methods of research in collecting, investigating, and explaining the data. The quantitative method involving numerical data was gathered from the respondents through a survey questionnaire powered by Google forms while in the qualitative aspect, an interview with the respondents along with appropriate observation was conducted. Determination of different problems confronting the said program and the application of aggressive and more advanced strategies were conducted. Findings revealed that the biggest electrification challenge being experienced by Electric Cooperatives (ECs) was rural inaccessibility and remoteness of areas along with difficult or rugged terrain. Thus, the best-recommended solution for non-viable areas after trying all the possible options would be off-grid electrification. In conclusion, the implication of the findings of the study of Public Administration was deliberated to comprehensively assess the opportunities to attain an enhanced quality of life, better access to basic services in areas of health, education, and water as well as resilient infrastructure towards rural development, for the best interest of Filipino people.
Keywords: Rural electrification program, Electric services, Universal electricity access, Central Luzon, Philippines