THE Department of Energy (DOE) counted the electrification of more than 13,000 households, the start of a technical audit of power plants, and a review of the financial status of troubled cooperatives among its accomplishments in the first 100 days since the Duterte administration took office, the agency reported on Friday.
Referring to a memorandum for the President Rodrigo R. Duterte to be received by Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea and Undersecretary and Acting Head of Presidential Management Staff Ferdinand B. Cui Jr., DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said that, “The DOE reported its feats on the implementation of electrification in the rural and depressed areas, institutional and international partnerships and energy stakeholders’ welfare and promotion.”
The targeted electrification of 10,000 households in depressed areas was achieved within the first 100 days through the DOE’s partnership with Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and the National Housing Authority (NHA).
As of September 29, 13,224 households were energized in the towns of Gaya-Gaya (Towerville), San Jose del Monte, Malolos, Balagtas, Sta Maria in Bulacan; Lucena City in Quezon province; Masinag in Antipolo; Cainta; Marikina; Angono; Calamba and San Pablo in Laguna; Isla Puting Bato in Parola; Happy Land Aroma and the BASECO Compound in Tondo; Espana; Malate; Tutuban; Balagtas; Balintawak; Paranaque City and Caloocan City.
The DOE facilitated private sector participation for the provision of adequate supply of electricity in the following missionary areas: Camotes Electric Cooperative (Camotes Islands); Quezon Electric Cooperative (Polillo Island); Tawi-Tawi Electric Cooperative (Bongao); Province of Siquijor Electric Cooperative (additional supply in Siquijor); Lubang Electric Cooperative (Lubang Island); and Marinduque Electric Cooperative.
The DOE ordered the technical audit of power generating plants in response to a recent spate of power interruptions (yellow and red alert occurrences) in July and August.
The DOE signed Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) with the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC)-accredited Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines (IIEE) and the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (PSME). These professional associations, known for their technical knowledge, expertise and competence to assist the DOE in addressing the current power situation, are providing pro-bono services to augment the DOE’s Technical Audit Team for the country’s generation, transmission and distribution facilities.
Similarly, the DOE directed the technical audit of all electric cooperatives served by the National Power Corporation (NPC)-Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) in order to ensure the reliable quality, and affordable supply of electricity, beginning with Oriental Mindoro. This includes the review of all their power supply contracts.
Further, DOE directed the NEA to make recommendations to address the financial and management problems of 10 ailing cooperatives, namely: Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco); Pampanga III Electric Cooperative (Pelco III); Camarines Sur III Electric Cooperative (Casureco III); Albay Electric Cooperative (Aleco); Masbate Electric Cooperative Inc. (Maselco); Maguindanao Electric Cooperative (Magelco); Lanao Sur Electric Cooperative (Lasureco); Basilan Electric Cooperative (Baselco); Sulu Electric Cooperative (Suleco); and Tawi-Tawi Electric Cooperative (Tawelco).
DOE has successfully intervened on behalf of the electricity consumers of First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative (Fibeco) and Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative (Buseco) from having their electricity supply disconnected, the department said.
Consistent with its mandate to protect the consumers, the DOE endorsed to Department of Finance (DOF) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) the exemption of the Systems Loss Charge from VAT because it is not actually used by the consumers and to attain the policy of true cost under Republic Act No. 9136, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (Epira).
DOE tightened its synchronization efforts with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) as strategic partners in ensuring quality, reliable, secured and affordable electric power supply, it added.
Pursuant to the DOE’s commitment to maintain and strengthen the predictability, certainty and consistency of investment rules of the country, the DOE affirmed its position in its Motion for Reconsideration pending before the Commission on Audit (COA) that the income tax of the Malampaya contractor shall form part of the 60 percent government share.
Also, the energy department completed the Philippine Energy Plan 2016-2030 Update, which will roadmap the strategic direction for the short, medium and long-term energy sub-sectors such as renewable energy, oil and gas exploration, oil downstream and upstream, and energy efficiency. A Power Development Plan 2017-2030 based on economic growth, forecast assumptions, and elasticity has been initiated.
The Philippine government, with the DOE as lead agency, hosted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC) Conference on the prospects of nuclear power in the Asia-Pacific region from August 30 to September 1 at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.
This is part of the country’s commitment in exploring all energy resources to ensure supply security and stability.
The DOE actively participated in the 34th Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM 34) and its Associated Meetings in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, where DOE Secretary Cusi was elected as vice chairman.
As chairman of the Asean in 2017, Secretary Cusi formally accepted, on behalf of the Philippine government the hosting of AMEM 35 and its Associated Meetings in Manila from September 18 to 22, 2017. The country previously hosted the meetings in 1997 and 2004.
The DOE also finalized the APEC-funded Guidelines on Improving Energy Resiliency in Off-grid Areas applicable to 21 APEC member economies. This forms part of the economy’s readiness and adaptation to climate change.
On-going set-up of One-Stop Shop for DOE services with the USAID-assisted Energy Virtual One Shared System (EVOSS) has been scheduled for full launch in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The EVOSS is designed to serve as platform to investors and other government’s agencies to monitor and update on the status of various applications. At present, on-going activities include the improvement of the system and web portal, data gathering, and pilot testing.
Task Force Kapatid facilitating the repair/rehabilitation of lines and restoration of electric service during disasters in coordination with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) is in place, along with an Electric Cooperatives Resiliency Program intended for the stockpiling of material buffer stocks needed for immediate line repair/rehabilitation. Likewise, implementing rules relative to Vulnerability Risk Assessment (VRA) and Emergency Response Planning (ERP) to mitigate the impact of calamities are being followed, DOE said.
DOE is currently reviewing the DOE’s Citizen Charter to further streamline the permitting process for power development projects. This will significantly reduce the time to process applications.
To make frontline services responsive to the people’s needs, the DOE launched the DOE Rapid Response &
Delivery (RRD-AC), with the on-going transfer to the DOE Records Section and the development of the DOE Citizen Action and Response Enhanced System. The DOE-RRD-AC will have information kiosks for the processing of permits and will have an Officer of the Day on duty for immediate assistance to investors.
DOE has also tightened its link with the academe, opening its doors to a succession of groups of students at various levels from elementary to college from all over the country through lectures, discussions and experiments related to the electricity supply chain, energy efficiency and conservation.
At the DOE Lighting and Testing Laboratory, they learned about comparing and calculating the energy efficiency cost of operating various household appliances. Certificates of Pledges of Commitment as “Energy Cost Busters” were given encouraging especially the children to apply practical measures in saving energy and money.