ENERGIZING COMMUNITIES. Linemen of Cotabato Light and Power Company (Cotabato Light) install additional power lines in this photo as the Aboitiz firm eyes completion of its Sitio Electrification Program by the end of 2022 in its franchise area. The power firm said they have so far energized 72 of 81 sitios in its area covering Cotabato City and parts of Datu Odin Sinsuat and Sultan Kudarat towns in Maguindanao. (Photo courtesy of Cotabato Light)

COTABATO CITY – The Cotabato Light and Power Company (Cotabato Light) here, an AboitizPower subsidiary, is eyeing to fully energize all 81 subvillages (sitios) in its franchise area before year-end.

To date, Cotabato Light has energized 72 rural communities through its Sitio Electrification Program (SEP) and is aiming to complete nine other remaining sitios this year.

“Cotabato Light has budgeted around PHP37 million for the SEP and has identified several measures to meet the completion and full energization target by November 2022,” Valentin Saludes III, Cotabato Light president and chief operating officer, said Wednesday.

Saludes said the power distribution utility continues to follow its mandate to bring reliable and "reasonably-priced electricity" to far-flung areas, in support of the government’s efforts to increase and accelerate community access to electricity services.

The support provided by the local government and barangay officials was instrumental in the project's success, he added.

Once completed, the rural electrification program will have provided electricity for more than 1,000 households, opening more doors and livelihood opportunities to the recipient communities.

Meanwhile, local officials in nearby Maguindanao areas expect more development as electricity has reached their remote communities.

“We are grateful that Cotabato Light brought us the needed electricity, this is a very good development for us,” said Chairman Esmael Mendo of Barangay Rebuken, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

Cotabato Light's service area covers this city, and parts of Datu Odin Sinsuat and Sultan Kudarat municipalities in Maguindanao. (PNA)