By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star)
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said, “the MOU is an initiative consistent with the long-term vision of President Rodrigo Duterte known as ‘Ambisyon 2040′ and compliments his 10-point socio-economic agenda.” Senate PRIB/Joseph Vidal, File
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding to accelerate the development of regional economic zones or ecozones in the country.
“With the MOU in place, the country can expect the flow of critical investment which in the long-run creates more job opportunities and spurs rural development”, Cusi said.
Under the partnership, the DOE will develop energy policies to facilitate the reduction of the cost of doing business in the country, including the ecozones,” the DOE chief said.
“Energy efficiency programs, like the adoption of Energy Management Systems (ISO 50001), will be given importance to help the locator companies to be more efficient in their use of energy resources. This will result in lower power costs to sustain the companies’ competitiveness, while also encouraging the establishment of more energy efficient ecozones in the country”, Cusi said.
The DOE secretary also underscored the importance of policies that would streamline the permitting processes for energy projects, to ensure stable and reliable supply of energy to drive economic activities in the ecozones.
Since he took office, Cusi has stressed the need to streamline the process for power plants and to lower power rates during his term.
In terms of bringing down electricity rates, he said the DOE was “looking at it from the perspective of the consumer.”
Currently, Philippine electricity rate-particularly that of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) – is the third highest in Asia, fourth in Asia Pacific and 16th worldwide in 2016, based on a report done by Australia-based International Energy Consultants (IEC).