Cusi: ‘E-Power Mo!’ to empower energy consumers

MANILA-- Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Wednesday led the launch of the government's E-Power Mo! information, education and communication campaign designed to empower consumers by providing them information and options on the intelligent use of energy resources.

The "E-Power Mo!" campaign brought together the Department of Energy (DOE), the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and the USAID B-Leaders at the Philippine International Convention Center.

In his keynote message during the event, Cusi emphasized that energy sufficiency is a cornerstone of the Duterte administration's thrust towards a globally competitive and inclusive economy that improves the quality of life of all Filipinos.

He emphasized that since the country is in its golden age of infrastructure, power is very critical to drive industry.

Without sufficient energy to power industries, he said, it would be difficult to pump-prime the economy to create more jobs, improve the delivery of government services, and fast-track infrastructure projects.

Cusi explained that the Department of Energy (DOE) is pursuing a neutral stance as far as fuel and energy sources are concerned, and the guiding principle is for the energy mix to take into account both economic and ecological concerns.

The department, he said, should keep an open mind when it comes to the country's options where the energy mix is concerned.

The energy chief emphasized that the DOE will "work on initiatives to ensure affordable, reliable, modern and sustainable energy. We will pursue a fuel and technology neutrality, balancing environment and socio-economic growth through competitive selection process."

"Contrary to what people might think, I am not against renewable energy, I am against high-energy rates," he said, adding that he supports all energy sources so long as they make economic sense in the long term for consumers, industries and the economy as a whole.

Cusi cited his department's projection that the country would need an additional capacity of almost 44,000 megawatts (MW) from 2017 to 2040.

To meet the additional capacity requirements, he said, President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed Executive Order 30 to streamline the regulatory procedures that affect foreign and local investors in establishing their power projects in the country.

The EO created the Energy Investment Coordinating Council (EICC) that is tasked to coordinate the efforts of various government agencies and private sector participants in fast-tracking the implementation of major energy projects.

The projects will be endorsed by the DOE as undertakings of "national significance" if they are in accordance or in support of the ?2017-2022 Philippine Energy Plan, Cusi told his audience.

"Our projections show that we need additional capacity of almost 44,000 MW from 2017 to 2040. We have on hand the Philippine Energy Plan ?2017-2022 and its comprehensive sectoral roadmaps to guide us in our long-term planning on energy," he said.

The Philippine Energy Plan ?2017-2022 is the blueprint for attaining the government's vision of economic development contained in "Ambisyon 2040".

Cusi added that the DOE is also institutionalizing disaster resilience in the energy sector for strengthening energy systems and facilities, quick restoration and provision of alternative sources that would lessen the burden to consumers during calamities.

"The Philippines is one of the countries most vulnerable to natural calamities. We experience an average of around 20 typhoons per year, flash floods, storm surges, earthquakes and landslides," he pointed out.

Cusi noted that after the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that affected electricity supply in Leyte, Samar and Bohol, and the Marawi siege, the DOE recognizes the fact that the country should be prepared for any contingency, whether it be natural or man-made.

In circumstances like these, it is our task to make sure that electricity services are restored at the fastest possible time, he said. (DOE PR)

Photo caption: UNITED FOR E-POWER. (L-R) NEA Administrator Ed Masongsong, DOE Assistant Sec. Redentor Delola, DOE Assistant Sec. Gerardo Erguiza, PNOC EC Pres. Pedro Aquino, PCOO Undersecretary Noel Puyat, DOE Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella, PCOO Sec. Martin Andanar, DOE Sec. Alfonso Cusi, DOE Undersecretary Jesus Posadas, Transco Pres. Melvin Matibag, DOE Undersecretary Petronilo Ilagan, DOE Undersecretary Donato Marcos, DOE Dir. Cesar dela Fuente, DOE Usec. Raul Aguilos, and NPC Pres. Pio Benavides

Source: Philippines News Agency