THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) said loan payments from electric cooperatives (ECs) in 2019 totaled P2.297 billion, beating the target by 15% and exceeding the 2018 total of P2.263 billion.

It said the result was propped up by some prepayment activity by ECs.

“The early payment of outstanding loans by some ECs amounting to P94.35 million and increase in advance payment made by ECs of P283 million contributed to the attainment of high collection efficiency,” NEA Finance Services Department Acting Director Milagros Robles said in a statement.

It said the largest payments were received from Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (OMECO), Nueva Ecija II Electric Cooperative, Inc. — Area 2 (NEECO II — Area 2), Misamis Oriental II Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. (MORESCO II), Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CENPELCO), and First Laguna Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FLECO).

NEA is responsible for the electrification of rural communities, regulating 121 ECs.

Its lending programs include stand-by credit and short-term loans, which aid them in settling accounts.

The agency also offers 10-year calamity loans at 3.25% annual interest.

In February, the agency provided a total of P51.596 million in calamity loans to six power cooperatives in the MiMaRoPa, Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions to aid the rehabilitation of their distribution systems after typhoon Tisoy in December.

The agency estimated a P911.668-million-worth of damage and losses to 27 ECs in Luzon and Visayas resulting from the typhoon. — Adam J. Ang