THE Department of Energy (DOE) has teamed up with other stakeholders in drafting a stronger energy plan for the Visayas to ensure energy security and sustainability for the region.
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said the plan was drafted during the two-day Visayas Energy Forum which was attended by key players in the industry including electric cooperatives, power companies and generators, legislators and members of DOE attached agencies.
Local government units (LGUs) as well as representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also took part in the event.
Petilla said the discussions centered on bringing the energy planning process down to the local levels and preparing for natural calamities that adversely affect energy facilities.
He added that the proposed energy plan will serve as blueprint for indigenous energy development and utilization in the region and will also seek to empower LGUs and various sectors to plan ahead for their energy needs.
“I encourage all local government units to play an active role in the electrification process to ensure an energy secured nation in the future,” Petilla said.
Also discussed during the forum was the DOE’s ongoing study on the need to come up with a policy on the auction of aggregated energy requirements.
During the forum, the DOE presented the current energy situation in the Visayas.
It said 51 percent of the total 8,095 sitios, or sub-villages, in the Visayas have been provided with electricity in accordance with the Sitio Electrification Program while 75.4 percent out of the more than four million potential households were already electrified in fulfillment of the Household Electrification Program.
This year, the DOE said three power plants are expected to come online with a total capacity of 129 megawatts.
The Energy Forum marks the start of a series of meetings concerning the drafting of the Visayas Energy Plan. It was made possible through the support of United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).