ESMAP Highlights Assistance to Electric Cooperatives in the Philippines

ESMAP17 April 2013: The World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) has highlighted the Philippines as an example of a country committed to policy and institutional reform aimed at driving the country's energy transition, despite challenges.

According to the World Bank, the energy sector in the Philippines is confronted with the following challenges: absence of modern household electricity connections; limited generation capacity in some localities; and relatively high electricity costs compared to neighboring countries. Electric cooperatives (ECs) play a vital role in providing electricity to rural and urban areas in the Philippines. However, in recent years these cooperatives have found it difficult to raise operation capital, after the government made them more accountable for their own supply requirements.

Aimed at addressing the issue of EC finances to meet the goal of 90% electricity access by 2017, a World Bank ESMAP-supported project has helped the ECs build upon existing financing windows, such as the Rural Power Project and the Electric Cooperative System Loss Reduction Project, that support investments in efficient, low-carbon rural electrification. The technical assistance programme has also helped ECs address issues related to credit risk, tariff methodologies and corporate governance.

ESMAP is a global, multidonor technical assistance trust fund administered by the World Bank and co-sponsored by 12 official bilateral donors. [ESMAP Press Release]