The Department of Energy announced that it is allocating P2 billion annually until 2017 for rural electrification during the recently conducted Energy Sector Information and Education Campaign.
Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras presented at the IEC the situation and developments in the Philippine energy sector which include updates on the energy resource development, downstream oil, renewable energy and power sector.
During the open forum, stakeholders aired their concerns over the disbursement of their applied projects under ER 1-94.
The DOE announced that it is coordinating closely with the community relations officer of each province for easier facilitation of the proposals.
Almendras said the DOE is prioritizing the bill that will amend the charter of the National Electrification Administration. Among the amendments being pursued by DOE is the optional conversion of the electric cooperatives to stock cooperatives.
The DOE is also allotting P2 billion per year until 2017 for rural electrification to achieve 90 percent household electrification from the current 70 to 75 percent level of electrification.
"We are providing the budget for the expansion of the electric cooperatives but the electric cooperatives need to show that they are responsible. We are trying to make these structures to reinvigorate the electric cooperatives," Almendras said.
Participants at the IEC also raised concerns on the feed-in tariff rates which will eventually affect prices of electricity.
More than 150 participants attended the IEC, composed of representatives from the Local Government Units, Chamber of Commerce and Industries, electric cooperatives, industry partners, and others stakeholders.*PNA