Impacts of power sector reforms on rural electrification in the Philippines : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Inspired by neo-liberal principles, waves of electricity industry reforms have swept the world over the last two decades. To a great extent, the traditional government-extended electrification service was transferred to the hands of private actors and market forces. While these reforms are expected to bring about efficiency gains as a result of market liberalization and private competition, the provision of electrification service to relatively poorer rural areas is less certain. In this light, it is of great interest in development studies to therefore understand the impacts of these reforms on the delivery of public service goals in cash-strapped developing countries like the Philippines. Through assessments of relevant Philippine government data and case study findings, this thesis outlines how the restructured Philippine electricity industry has impacted on the accessibility, service quality and affordability of electrification, especially in rural areas. In a nutshell, electricity industry restructuring in the Philippines resulted in better delivery of public service goals to the rural beneficiaries, but not necessarily resulting from privatization, competition and deregulation that is fostered by a free market regime.