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
Petroleum price hike this week hits consumers anew
Gasoline station crew fueling a car
MANILA, Philippines — This week marks the seventh oil price hike on petroleum products.
Oil industry players forecast 20 to 40 centavos increase in the price of gasoline per liter, and 10 to 20 centavos per liter on diesel and kerosene.
“Patuloy pa rin naman ang pagmo-monitor ng Department of Energy sa kalakalan sa international market para makita natin na ang nangyayaring adjustment dito or development ay dala lang ng international development,” said Department of Energy – Oil Industry Management Bureau Asst. Dir. Del Romero
(The Department of Energy continues to monitor the developments in the international market for us to see whether any adjustment or development is caused by international development.)
From January to September this year, the price increase in gasoline has totaled to P9.00, and more than P9.00 in diesel.
With the excise tax, there has been a P12.00 price increase in gasoline and diesel in the local market.
The Energy Department said the cause of this week’s oil price hike is the sanction of United States of America’s on Iran.
The sanction has caused Iran to export less oil. Iran is considered one of the world’s top oil producers.
The demand for petroleum products has gone down due to the trade dispute between the U.S. and China, and the gradual drop in the U.S. crude oil inventory.
The DOE assured it will constantly conduct monitoring to prevent abuses on the prices of petroleum products.
The energy department regularly conducts inspections to ascertain that gasoline stations follow the quality and quantity standards.
Meanwhile, the DOE has implemented a price freeze on petroleum products in areas under a state of calamity.
There will be a 15-day price freeze on kerosene and household LPG.
“Kung ang presyo noong bago nagkaroon ng declaration iyon lang kahit may adjustment ng sumunod na linggo o sumunod na buwan as far as LPG is concerned,” Romero said.
(Whatever the price was before the declaration that must be the price, though there had been adjustments in the next weeks or months as far as LPG is concerned.)
For reports or complaints on the quality of petroleum products, the public may contact the Oil Industry Management Bureau through its hotline number 840-2130. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue
Meralco rates to go up by P0.02/kwh this month
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Power consumers will have to pay more for their August electricity bills as the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announces an increase in its rates by P0.02 per kilowatt hour.
This translates to additional P5.00 for a household that consumes 200kW each month and as much as P13 for those consuming 500kW per month.
Meralco explained that the adjustment is due to higher generation charges or the cost of electricity from producers.
According to Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga, the 5.7 percent increase in inflation last July was offset by the slumping power prices in the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) though he said the power distributor was able to manage the adjustments.
Following the power rate hike announcement, an energy expert said the Philippines remains as the second country in Asia with the highest power rates.
Japan tops the list with more than P12.00 per kilowatt hour.
Singapore shares the top 2 spot with almost P9.00 per kilowatt hour rate, followed by Hong Kong and Thailand with more than P6.00 rate.
John Morris, an international energy consultant, said some Asian countries have lower rates because of the government subsidy. These include Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan.
Subsidies in these countries reach US$800B a year.
If the Philippine government will subsidize power, it will need funds amounting to more than P120B.
Morris suggested adding more power plants to lower the country’s power rates as more competition means a cheaper cost of service.
“Obviously the biggest component is generation if you wanted to bring it down that’s the place to go looking it make up two thirds of the tariff,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Meralco assured that the implementation of the second package of the tax reform law next year will not affect power rates. – Mon Jocson| UNTV News & Rescue
PH earns praises from UN, EU, Japan for the landmark Bangsamoro Organic Law
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ enactment of the landmark Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) has earned compliments from the international community following its official signing by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 26.
The United Nations, in a statement by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, recognized it as “a landmark achievement on the road to lasting peace in the southern Philippines.”
The European Union said, “The passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law represents an opportunity for the Filipino people to embrace peace and stability after decades of strife,” in a statement by EU Spokesperson Maja Kocijancic.
The Philippines’ ally Japan, meanwhile, was the first to express its support “for the development of Mindanao in a wide range of fields, in accordance with progress in the peace process.” This, according to Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kano, is Japan’s commitment under the Japan-Philippines Joint Statement on Bilateral Cooperation for the next five years announced in October 2017,
The Bangsamoro Organic law is considered a key step to ending a decade-long armed conflict in the southern Philippines that had claimed thousands of lives since it began in the 1970s.
For his part, President Duterte appealed to the Moro community to give BOL a chance in leading the path towards peace.
“Hindi pa kami nag-usap sa Tausug group, kay Nur, o kahit kanino ang kailangan kausapin ko. Iyong BBL tapos na. Bigyan lang natin ng panahon. Huwag tayong mag-giyera. Kasi kung mag-giyera — wala naman problema mamatay tayo. Mamatay man tayo lahat. Ang problema, ang mga mahirapan ang mga bata, matanda, pati mga babae. Mag-iwan lang tayo ng maraming orphans. Maglaki ng walang tatay, hirap ang nanay. Papaano… Huwag natin pasukan ‘yan. Hindi panahon natin ‘yan. Hindi ‘yung away na pwede tayong makipagsapalaran na ubusan. Mag-usap na lang. Iyong Abu Sayyaf, mag-usap na lang tayo,” the President said during his visit to fire-affected residents in Brgy. Bus-Bus in Jolo, Sulu on Friday (July 27).
A ceremonial signing of the BOL is being prepared between President Duterte and the leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo