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Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification

As of January 2018, some 2.8 million out of 15 million households in the Philippines remain unenergized. Half of them are in Mindanao, and mostly in remote areas or islands. Most of these areas are served by the electric cooperatives tasked to provide missionary electrification in the country. Some small islands get power from the National Power Corporation-Small Power Utilities Group (NPC-SPUG). To support the government’s missionary electrification program, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) mandates the collection of Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UCME), and its use by the distribution utilities. Ms. Grace Yeneza, in her discussion paper, tackles the impact of current UCME subsidy implementation and of DoE’s circular removing the UCME subsidy. The paper also presents some recommendations to support missionary electrification and cheaper electricity for islands.