Palawan Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By Sevedeo Borda III

The Provin­cial Gov­ern­ment of Palawan signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) with the De­part­ment of En­ergy (DOE) re­cently at Palawan Capi­tol for the De­vel­op­ment for Re­new­able En­ergy Ap­pli­ca­tions Main­stream­ing and Mar­ket Sus­tain­abil­ity (DREAMS) project.

DOE-Re­new­able En­ergy Man­age­ment Bu­reau through its “De­vel­op­ment for Re­new­able En­ergy Ap­pli­ca­tions Main­stream­ing and Mar­ket Sus­tain­abil­ity” (DREAMS) project aims to pro­vide a more ef­fi­cient power sup­ply in the province and re­li­able en­ergy ser­vices, de­velop indige­nous and clean sources of en­ergy, and con­trib­ute to the re­duc­tion of green­house gas (GHG) emis­sions through the ca­pac­ity build­ing of the stake­hold­ers and the con­sumers.

The DOE stressed that LGU has a need for ad­di­tional knowl­edge and strength­ened ca­pac­ity in pre­par­ing

lo­cal­ized RE plans. It was noted that such plans should fo­cus on help­ing boost in­vest­ments in the RE sec­tor, en­sur­ing com­pli­ance with the poli­cies and guide­lines of the RE Law and reach­ing out to un­served com­mu­ni­ties.

Un­der­sec­re­tary Felix Wil­liam B. Fuentabella, who rep­re­sented the DOE em­pha­sized that the signed MOU is an agree­ment that shows col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort of the UNDP-GEF, Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Units and the DOE to pro­vide re­new­able en­ergy sources for ev­ery Palawenos at its low­est cost.

“Ang at­ing Mem­o­ran­dum Of Agree­ment na pinirma­han ay isang doku­mento na nag­pa­pakita ng ko­op­erasyon kung paano natin ma­pagsasama-sama ‘yong De­part­ment of En­ergy, ‘yong mandato ng UNDP at mandato ng LGU-Palawan kung paano natin matu­tukan ang Re­new­able En­ergy sources na pwede ma­pak­in­a­ban­gan ng bawat ba­hay, ng bawat con­sumer na dito sa Palawan... Ang aim natin ay ma-cap­ture yung power, mabi­gay ang kuryente at the low­est cost. Ang ma­jor natin ay magka­roon ng elec­tri­fi­ca­tion,” said Fuentabella.

Usec Fuentabella also ex­plained that the peo­ple should un­der­stand that de­spite the agree­ment, the Palawan Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive (PALECO) will not be re­placed but is still a part of the project as the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the con­sumers.

“Kailan­gan maintindi­han natin na ang PALECO ay rep­re­sen­ta­tive ng at­ing mga con­sumer, the main prin­ci­pal o ang main in­vestor dito sa at­ing power sit­u­a­tion. So, yung con­sumer ang nag­babayad at bibili ng kuryente. At yung pag gawa niyan ke­lan­gan meron silang en­tity na tinatawag na elec­tric co­op­er­a­tive para gu­mawa nito. Para sa kanila, ang main func­tion ng PALECO ay sa wire busi­ness. Hindi na­man pwe­deng la­hat ng con­sumer bibili ng kuryente sa power plant, in-as­sign si Paleco na bu­mili ng sup­ply dito, kung sinu­man ang sup­plier,” he ex­plained.

He added that there should be a thor­ough study on what will hap­pen to the en­ergy source in the province for it has so­lar, hy­dro, ocean and wind en­ergy sources which he noted that the sources should be uti­lized in a safe and sus­tain­able way.

The United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP) stressed out that the project is rel­e­vant to lessen the green­house gas emis­sion and that ev­ery­one has a global obli­ga­tion to help lessen the emis­sion in our own so­ci­ety.

“There is a global obli­ga­tion now that ev­ery­one has to con­trib­ute in low­er­ing the green­house gas emis­sion. Philip­pines, we’re not a devel­oped world, we don’t have big fac­to­ries, we are the ma­jor emis­sion­ers but if you add up ev­ery small com­muter and their ev­ery small ag­gre­gate emis­sion it ac­tu­ally sur­passes ma­jor emis­sion. You have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to con­trol green­house gas emis­sion,” said Ti­ton Mi­tra, UNDP’s coun­try direc­tor.

Palawan Gover­nor Jose Al­varez is hope­ful that the part­ner­ship will be part of the mis­sion to gain Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct (GDP) and this will be at­tained with an ef­fi­cient power distri­bu­tion.

“We hope that this part­ner­ship that we will be sign­ing to­day will be part of our mis­sion in­clud­ing our goal that the province of Palawan will con­tinue its growth in terms of do­mes­tic prod­uct pro­duced in Palawan. We will re­call that sim­ply in 2013, we are in neg­a­tive one, last year we are in 6.2% al­most con­tribut­ing 1% on the Philip­pine GDP (Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct) which is 21 tril­lion and our tar­get in the next 10 years to con­trib­ute. Palawan will con­trib­ute to our num­ber one rider, Tourism which will never hap­pen with­out power,” he said.

He em­pha­sized that a town needs a 24hour power sup­ply for it to pros­per and that power should come be­fore de­mand.

“No Province, no towns, no barangays will pros­per with­out 24/7 power and power will al­ways pre­side de­mand. Power will be there be­fore de­mand comes and not de­mand first be­fore power to avoid brown out,” he said.

Palawan gov­ern­ment part­nered with the DOE-DREAMS to as­sist off-grid com­mu­ni­ties in the towns of San Vi­cente, Abor­lan, Ca­gayan­cillo, Brooke’s Point and Bal­abac as part of the province’s RE plan­ning strat­egy.

The MOU sign­ing was in sup­port of the DOE’s project to boost lo­cal­ized plan­ning in the de­vel­op­ment and us­age of re­new­able en­ergy (RE), fol­low­ing the se­ries of con­sul­ta­tions with the provin­cial gov­ern­ments of Palawan (4 Septem­ber) and Iloilo (26 Septem­ber).

DOE-DREAMS is a five-year project (20172022) with the sup­port of the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme and the Global En­vi­ron­ment Fa­cil­ity. (With Re­ports from K. Lamo and R.

INPHOTO: (Mid­dle) Gov. Jose Chaves Al­varez with DOE USEC. Felix Wil­liam Fuente­bella and UNDP Coun­try Direc­tor Ti­ton Mi­tra. Photo by Sev Borda III / Palawan Daily News

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