The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is urging the private sector to support the government in meeting the growing demand for energy and bringing down the cost of electricity to realize their vital role in energy development and economic growth.
During the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) Planning Inputs Cascade Session on June 8, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the role of power companies, in partnering with the government, is crucial to economic growth.
Meralco Planning Inputs Cascade Session is an activity of One Meralco leaders to create strategic plans as a major input to their budget plan for 2018 and business plan for 2018 to 2022.
“Noting that energy security is a critical input to stimulating and sustaining socioeconomic development, the private sector can participate in the generation of additional power to meet the growing demands of the country,” said Pernia.
Chapter 19 of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 noted many rural and off-grid areas still have no access to stable power despite efforts to pursue nationwide distribution of electricity, according to NEDA.
The country’s household electrification level is at 89.6 percent—94.8 percent in Luzon and 92.4 percent in Visayas. Mindanao, however, is still at 72.4 percent.
Pernia noted power and electrification are vital to the growth of the agriculture, fishery and forestry sectors.
High electricity rates in the country are among the highest in Asia, and incomplete electrification in rural areas are affecting sectoral productivity.
Pernia said power companies can participate through the Qualified Third Party (QTP) program to encourage more participants from alternative service providers and private investments.
“Participating in energy development projects will promote competition, increase power generation and ultimately drive down electricity rates,” he added.
This is consistent with the administration’s plan to provide off-grid, island, remote, and last-mile communities with electricity services by 2022.