In the presence of advance technology today, who would have thought that there are still Filipinos who have never lightened up their homes with electricity? Imagine how hard their life is, and imagine fortunate you are to enjoy the benefits of electricity while some are struggling because they have no access to it.
According to the United Nations (UN), access to electricity should be declared as a basic human right and urges all the countries in the world to make electricity available for all.
While this issue is still on debate, I, myself, who is a member of an organization which is a vanguard of rural development through rural electrification, firmly believes that indeed enjoying the benefits of electricity is a privilege that everyone should have. Though this remains a challenge for the Philippines for years, as we are limited with financial resources, the government never lost its faith in energizing the entire country from the smallest island to the farthest one by continuously capacitating the electric cooperatives and empowering the member-consumers-owners.
Undoubtedly, electricity plays an important role in rural development and in the absence of it, there is no progress, there is no economic growth and people are imprisoned with poverty. Statistics show that people who live in rural areas with no electricity are likely to stay living below the poverty line because of limited resources and opportunity.
While people who live in rural areas which has been energized, just recently, through the help of government’s sitio electrification program, experience a significant change in their lives. Records show that there is an increase in income for every household beneficiaries of the said program and this can be mainly attributed to the surge in production of their farm and higher employment rate in their area.
Brudland (1986) says that “Energy services are a crucial input to the primary development challenge of providing adequate food, shelter, clothing, water, sanitation, medical care, schooling, and access to information. Thus energy is one dimension or determinant of poverty and development, but it is vital. Energy supports the provision of basic needs such as cooked food, a comfortable living temperature, lighting, the use of appliances, piped water or sewerage, essential health care (refrigerated vaccines, emergency and intensive care), education aids, communication and transport. Energy also fuels productive activities, including agriculture, commerce, manufacture, industry, and mining”. Apparently, the electricity serves as the main stimulant of economic growth and reduces poverty in the rural areas.
I feel grateful that I become part of an organization which was created for missionary and humanitarian purposes. While most millennials are having difficulty in finding their inner purpose in life and looking for ways on how they can make a difference, I unknowingly found mine, amidst my challenging and meaningful stay in National Electrification Administration (NEA). On the contrary with what most people think of millennials, I would be the living proof, that it is not always the monetary benefits that makes one stay in the workplace, because surprisingly, in rare occasions, it is the value or impact that you can bring to the society. It is always good to find a high paying job but it is very rare to find a fulfilling one. And even though I am not a front liner in implementing rural electrification programs of the government, I still appreciate the roles that I play in the agency no matter how small it (effort) is, because I know that I am one of the reason why some members of the marginalized sector have lights in their home.