The Department of Energy (DOE) has lowered the price of power rate, secured enough supply of electricity, and provided additional power capacity for future needs under the administration of President Duterte.
DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi bared the agency’s “accomplishments” in a pre-recorded Cabinet meeting aired Thursday night, Sept. 2, which “helped in creating job opportunities for the Filipino people.”
According to the DOE chief, the “Murang Kuryente Act” signed by Duterte allowed the agency to use the money from the Malampaya project “to pay off the stranded debts of the NPC (National Power Corporation),” and in effect, “lessened the bill that energy consumers pay.”
Cusi also said that the department managed to extend to 30 years, or from 2021 to 2051, its service to provide free power to poor families, increasing the rural electrification rate from 90.7 percent in 2016 to 94.5 percent at present.
This means that only 5.5 percent of the country’s total remote areas still have no access to electricity—an issue which the DOE is already working on by implementing electrification projects in the off-grid areas of Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, and Lubang Island.
Among the important policies that the Cabinet secretary also implemented were tasking the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to secure firm reserves or ancillary services to stabilize the grid as well as to avoid the red and yellow alerts, which mean insufficient power supply in the grid and insufficient reserves to cover the largest running generating unit, respectively.
Grid operation and maintenance policies are also implemented among various industry players to avoid simultaneous use of maintenance power plants, which could lead to power interruption; and the rollout of the Green Energy Option Program, which increased the percentage of renewable energy being used in the county’s energy mix.
Currently, Cusi said that the DOE is looking into the possibility of using nuclear energy and hydrogen in the energy mix to ensure the country’s energy security.