The Senate finance committee approved on Wednesday the Department of Energy’s (DoE) proposed P2.65-billion budget for 2018.
The amount is 0.05 percent higher than the department’s appropriations this year.
However, the Senate panel will hold separate hearings on the budgets of the National Electrification Administration, National Transmission Corp., and Philippine National Oil Co.
During the budget hearing on Wednesday, Senator Loren Legarda noted the DoE’s low spending capacity as it reverted P2.7 billion to the Department of Budget and Management.
But the Energy department clarified that out of the P4.6 billion allocated to it in 2016, P2.5 billion was from its e-trike project. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi canceled e-trike project last year due to its high cost, saying it saves the Philippine government from incurring additional expenses.
Sixty-nine percent of the DoE’s proposed budget will be spent on maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE), and the balance on personnel services, capital outlay, and retirement and life insurance premiums.
Fifty-one percent will come from the Special Account of the General Fund and the balance from Regular Programs.
The DoE’s projects include providing basic access to electricity by 2022, curbing red tape by streamlining policies, and developing liquefied natural gas (LNG) fields before the Malampaya project is depleted. Jordeene Lagare