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Roadmap to a sustainableb future

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The Department of Energy’s (DoE) 2017-2040 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Roadmap has received full support from the Legislative department through the passage of a bill that seeks to address the rising power demand in the Philippines.

According to the DoE, the 2017-2040 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Roadmap is a compact yet comprehensive plan that would steer the Philippines towards achieving the mission to improve the quality of life of Filipinos by formulating policies and programs that will ensure sustainable, stable, secure, sufficient, accessible and reasonably-priced energy.

To ensure its implementation, House Bill 8629 has already passed third and final reading, while its counterpart in the Senate is being tackled by the Committee on Energy headed by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian.

House Bill 8629 aims to lay out the basis of new technology and ways of conserving energy and the protection of the environment in the coming decades, which complement the roadmap’s energy demand forecast, which is seen to rise by 80 percent from 2017 to 2040 at an annual rate of 3.5 percent.

As predicted by experts, a 3 percent reduction in energy intensity across key economic sectors will cushion the adverse impact on the environment and household finances, which is what the roadmap seeks to achieve.

With that, the proposed measure aims to “cushion the impact” of the high prices of imported fuel products in the local markets and protect the environment to support the economic and social development goals of the country.

It will also promote the use of efficient renewable energy technologies to ensure advantageous and sustainable use of resources.

Under the proposal, other energy-related laws will be reinforced to establish a comprehensive and market-driven approach in power use.

Meanwhile, the DoE, as implementing body, will be responsible in planning, development, enforcement and monitoring of energy management policies.

Under the bill, the roadmap will be developed and there will be a centralized database, which will provide information on energy consumption and other relevant data for policy-making.

A reorganization of the Energy Utilization Management Bureau was also provided to ensure a more responsive implementation of the law.

It also includes preferential tax treatment for qualified energy entities but only for a period of 15 years.

Proponents of DoE-endorsed energy-efficient projects, whether Filipino or foreign-owned, will be entitled to a tax holiday where they will be exempted from income tax in the first six years of commercial implementation.

Public information: A crucial part

Considering the role of the public as crucial to the success of the government’s thrust in energy efficiency, the DoE is holding “E-Power Mo,” a multisectoral conference that focuses on issues related to energy efficiency, conservation and resiliency.

“We continue to rally for consumer empowerment in the energy industry by providing fresh insights on various issues… The government is working hard to establish the appropriate energy resiliency measures,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

The Energy department stressed it has four tenets, which summarize the energy policy agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte.

These are: “E-Power Mo,” which will develop and utilize energy resources available to Filipinos for wealth creation and global competition; “E-Safety Mo,” which will undertake safety and savings measures through energy efficiency; “E-Secure Mo,” which aims to secure the delivery of quality, reliable and affordable energy services; and “E-Diskarte Mo.” which will empower consumers through a wide range of options in utilizing conventional, renewable and alternative energy sources.

The policy will be implemented in partnership with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and the Philippine Information Agency.

Cusi earlier stated that there is a “need to send across the message of the energy sector to the entire energy chain, from the industry players down to the general public.”

“DoE will aggressively implement this strategic energy information, education and communication campaign, so that ordinary Filipinos would be encouraged to use energy responsibly and would be partners in advancing the country’s economic growth,” he added.

International cohesion

The energy roadmap is not only aligned with the government’s cross-sectoral planning and strategies in energy efficiency nationwide, it is also consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals specifically with Goal 7, which sets to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services and expand infrastructure to upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all developing countries by 2030.

Aside from that, it will also go together with the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation for 2016-2025, the International Energy Agency recommendations, and Conference of Parties climate change negotiations.

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