EMPOWERED ILONGGOS: Department of Energy (DOE) Undersrcretary Felix William B. Fuentebella together with conference presenters from the DOE and Department of Finance answered queries from the participants and took note of the various suggestions raised. The E-Power Mo Forum encourages informed discourses to bridge the gap and address public concerns through responsive energy policies and programs.
The Department of Energy (DOE), in its continuing campaign to promote public awareness on energy conservation and renewable energy sources, brought the E-Power Mo Conference to Iloilo City on 9 October at the Grand Xing Imperial Hotel.
The forum – which was opened by Iloilo II Electric Cooperative, Inc. Legal Officer Dennis Ventilacion and DOE-Visayas Field Office representative Engineer Jose Rey Maleza – shared with the participants the pressing issues in the sector.
Among those discussed at the conference with the theme, “Empowering Filipinos Through Informed Energy Plans and Policies” were the national energy plans, the tax reform program affecting petroleum products and the nuclear policy.
In his keynote speech delivered by DOE Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi stressed that the agency is continuously crafting proactive policies that effectively respond to industry and consumer needs.
“An informed Filipino is an empowered Filipino. This awareness gives all of us a stake in our country’s energy future. However, the successful attainment of our goals is contingent upon everyone’s full cooperation,” said Sec. Cusi in his remarks.
USec. Fuentebella meanwhile, urged the public to live by the core message of “E-Power Mo” efficiently and effectively by using the country’s energy sources to create wealth for the nation.
He said the conference aims to have a strengthened collaboration between the government and the public to engage in healthy and informed discussions on issues of national interest.
One of the four main points during the “E-Power Mo” plenary session was the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP), which was highlighted by the presentation of energy roadmaps, anchored towards the Ambisyon Natin 2040 program of the government which envisions a comfortable life for all Filipinos.
The PEP was delivered by DOE-Energy Policy and Planning Bureau (EPPB) Assistant Director Carmencita Bariso.
Department of Foreign Affairs-Strategy Economics and Results Group Chief of Staff Ira C. Camarao, on the other hand, discussed the wisdom of the TRAIN Law as an investment in the country’s future to benefit common Filipinos through infrastructure projects and improved government services, while EPPB-Planning Division Chief Michael Sinocruz provided an overview of Executive Order 30 (EO30) that fast-tracks the processing of energy projects of national significance (EPNS) through an inter-agency Energy Investment Coordinating Council.
Mr. Sinocruz outlined the criteria in determining EPNS apart from an integral part of the Philippine Energy Plan such as projects amounting to least PhP3.5 billion, contribution to the environment and the economy among others.
EPPB Senior Science Research Specialist Marietta M. Quejada, meanwhile, presented the fourth topic tackling the milestones in identifying the best option for the Philippines’ nuclear energy policy.
The plenary session was followed by six breakout sessions focusing on issues pertaining to downstream oil and natural gas, upstream oil, natural gas and coal, renewable energy, power industry, alternative fuels and energy technologies and consumer sub-sector.
The DOE also held an E-Power Mo Energy 101 last 10 October for the local media to further understand the industry and have a holistic approach in reporting about energy and its related topics.
E-Power Mo is the DOE’s move to impart crucial knowledge to Filipino energy consumers and stakeholders by providing objective and helpful information, which is in partnership with the Presidential Communications Operations Office, the Philippine Information Agency and the B-LEADERS Project of USAID.