December 20, 2021
The Maguindanao Electric Cooperative (MAGELCO) recently inaugurated and switched on the fourth segment of the Power Super Highway, which was completed using power distribution equipment provided by JICA.
MAGELCO is one of six electric cooperatives that JICA is assisting in Mindanao's conflict-affected areas under a 771 million yen grant aid as push towards peace building in the Bangsamoro.
The project Improvement of Equipment for Power Distribution in Bangsamoro Area is a partnership of JICA with the National Electrification Administration (NEA) that aims to upgrade power distribution equipment of six electric cooperatives in the Bangsamoro, namely Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (LASURECO), Basilan Electric Cooperative (BASELCO), Tawi Tawi Electric Cooperative (TAWELCO), Sulu Electric Cooperative (SULECO), Siasi Electric Cooperative (SIASELCO), and MAGELCO. The equipment turned over by JICA consist of boom trucks, pole transformers, distribution poles, and power distribution wires.
Data from ECs in the Bangsamoro showed 26% energy losses due to aging equipment, mostly from the ‘70s and ‘80s. Meanwhile, government data showed that electrification rate in the Bangsamoro is at 37%, lower than the average rate of 74% in the whole of Mindanao.
JICA's grant aid assistance will reduce energy losses and assure reliable energy supply to households in the area. "Electric cooperatives like MAGELCO play an important role in improving the power distribution in Maguindanao. Overall, when energy distribution is improved, we can look forward to the revival of economic activities and enhanced opportunities for peace building and development in the Bangsamoro," said JICA Philippines Senior Representative EBISAWA Yo.
Through the project, the first four segments of the Power Super Highway forming a total of approximately 50 circuit kilometers of distribution lines across Maguindanao province have already been energized. Two more segments are expected to be up by early next year.
JICA has been supporting peace and development in Mindanao as one of its pillars of assistance to the Philippines. Since 2006, the JICA Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) has supported infrastructure development, capacity building, and community development activities in Mindanao's conflict-affected areas.
(From left) Minister NAKATA Masahiro of the Embassy of Japan, General Manager Sultan Ashary P. Maongco of MAGELCO, Senior Representative EBISAWA Yo of JICA, and Administrator Emmanuel P. Juaneza of NEA leading the ceremony
(From left) General Manager Sultan Ashary P. Maongco of MAGELCO, Minister NAKATA Masahiro of the Embassy of Japan, and Senior Representative EBISAWA Yo of JICA