DOE SIGNS MOU WITH PALAWAN GOVERNMENT ON LOCAL RENEWABLE ENERGY
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