Based on a study, only 89.6% of households across the country have electricity while 2.36 million have no power supply or are located in off-grid areas.
MANILA, Philippines — In an entire day, electricity is available for only three hours in Barangay Little Baguio in Malita, Davao Occidental.
According to Barangay Captain Ferdinand San, they can have access to electricity from 6 pm to 9 pm only using a generator.
It supplies electricity to more than 100 households in the barangay.
Ever since he can remember, their barangay has not been installed with electricity.
“Mabagal ang pag-unlad ng tao. Hindi masyado makatulong,” said the barangay captain.
(Progress is slow. The government hardly helps.)
Based on the study of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2017, only 89.6% of households across the country have electricity leaving 2.36 million with no power supply or are located in off-grid areas.
The Department of Energy (DOE) said that President Rodrigo Duterte directed them to complete the 100 percent electrification program for the entire country by 2022.
The President said distribution utilities (DU) will not allow private sectors to operate in their franchise areas, thereby hindering the electrification projects of the government.
“Kung hindi pa nila matugunan yung hinihinging pagpapakabit doon sa isang area ay makakapasok or bubuksan natin ang pintuan sa ating mga pribadong sektor,” said DOE Usec. Wimpy Fuentebella.
(If they still cannot address our request to install electricity in certain areas, we will allow the entry of private sector firms.)
Even Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the biggest distribution utility firm in the country, could not reach islands and remote areas in Luzon.
“Sumusubok kami ng ang tawag ay ‘distributed generation’ na gumagamit ng solar power at battery para makapagdala ng kuryente sa mga ganong lugar,” said Meralco Utility Economics head Larry Fernandez.
(We tried something called “distributed generation” that uses solar power and battery to bring electricity to remote areas.)
The DOE believes renewable energy is the key to providing electricity in far-flung areas across the country.
This is why the agency is ready to accept help from the private sector.
The Philippine government has recently agreed to allow the European Union (EU) to push through with donating P11-billion for the country’s renewable energy project.
Under this, the EU will provide solar panels to areas that could not be reached by distribution utility firms. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue
DOE warns increase in fuel prices in coming weeks
MANILA, Philippines — World oil prices have tumbled to lowest levels following a rapid seven-week sell-off after the US Intermediate Crude and the International Brent Crude registered a record-high in nearly four years.
Analysts have earlier voiced out concerns that oil producers are churning out more oil than the world needs, weighing down oil prices.
According to the Department of Energy, low oil prices due to feared oversupply are good for fuel importing countries but this poses risks to oil-producing countries like Iran and other nations in the Middle East.
“Maganda in the sense na nagmumura ang presyo ng petroleum products pero kung alam mo naman ang OPEC countries ang kanilang binebenta ay petroleum products so hindi nila pababayaang sumadsad so lagi nilang binabalanse ang merkado para patuloy pa rin ang kanilang business,” said DOE Oil Industry Management Bureau Assistant Director Del Romero.
Fears of oversupply, coupled with the bleak world economic outlook released by the International Monetary Fund for 2018 and 2019, have prompted the organization of the petroleum exporting countries to meet on December 6 to discuss possible production cut.
OPEC has been worried that some of its inventory will not be used due to overproduction.
With the plan to slash production volume, DOE says this might result in higher oil prices in the coming weeks.
“Kapag nangyari ang December 6 na meeting baka makaapekto ‘yun so, hopefully kung makaapekto man, hindi ganun ang pagtaas ulit,” said Romero.
The DOE, meanwhile, assures to continue inspecting gasoline stations that are selling fuel at a very low price, adding that these stations passed the standard quality and quantity test and that the implementation of lower prices is just due to market competition.
“Kung may pagdududa, sabi nga natin may power of choice; bumili ka kung saan talaga kampante ka, alam mo mura na siya at the same time maganda pa yung kalidad pero kung may duda sila sabihin sa Department of Energy para ma-inspect,” said the assistant director.
DOE also notes that the local oil industry is deregulated, meaning oil firms have the liberty to set domestic prices based on the movement of prices in the World Market. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue
Meralco power charges to increase next month
MANILA, Philippines – After two months of rate reduction, Meralco announced a power rate increase for the month of November.
According to Meralco, an additional 11 centavos per kilowatt hour will be reflected in consumers’ November billing statement.
This is equivalent to P22 additional charge for household consumption of 200 kilowatts per month and around P60 pesos increase in the 500 kilowatts per month.
Meralco said that the rate increase is due to the adjustments in prices in the wholesale electricity spot market. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mon Jocson)