Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) – June 6, 2021 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) has launched a business intelligence and analytics tool to improve operational efficiency, technical proficiency and business productivity of electric cooperatives (ECs).

NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong said the NEA Business Intelligence Technology (NEA-BIT) platform went live last May 26.

“At NEA, we believe that having the appropriate business intelligence tool to arm the ECs with insights and data-rich performance trends, will set a course to sustainability and success for our partnership,” he said.

The platform allows less paper works, less courier services, less physical interaction, which is very timely in this time of pandemic.

“However, let me remind one and all that electronic submissions to the NEA BIT portal will be strengthened by an affidavit to be signed by the EC general manager and NEA BIT focal person, that the documents submitted are true and correct,” Masongsong said.

“This is to foster seriousness and responsible ownership of the data submitted and to eliminate being trigger-happy in submissions,” he said.

The platform was supposed to be launched earlier, however, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its transition into the domain of NEA.

“This inevitably slowed down the contract bidding process and halted the continuous implementation of the project,” Masongsong said.

Development of the NEA-BIT platform started in 2016, when the World Bank and NEA realized that a business intelligence and analytics structure could be a game changer for the electricity sector, the NEA chief said.

“During its two years of implementation, NEA was able to extract actionable items and performance matrices out of the reports and structured data from the ECs,” he said.

“Strategically, NEA has started focusing on the valuable insights of operational efficiency, technical proficiency and business productivity of ECs, geared towards NEA’s 7-point agenda, more specifically on rural development,” Masongsong said.

Initially, the operation of NEA-BIT was funded by a technical assistance provided by ASEP and administered by the World Bank.

Now, its maintenance costs—which runs into millions per year—is shouldered by the NEA from its IGF, which is looking at the possibility of cost-sharing with the ECs through a token fee.

“However, these are all part of the strategic thinking of NEA’s financing schemes and has yet to be finalized. What is clear to all of us now is that we have to take advantage of this tool, of this platform, that centers on the ease of doing business between NEA and the ECs,” Masongsong said.