Improving access of local communities to quality, secured and sustainable energy in the Philippines
On 06 September 2013, the Department of the Interior and Local Government through its Philippines Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) Program, in cooperation with the Department of Energy, conducted a National Government-Local Government Joint Energy Forum. Over 400 local government units (LGUs) from all over Philippines discussed with industry leaders and representatives from various government agencies means to improve the access of local communities to quality, secured and sustainable energy.
“LGUs have an overriding role in approving the construction of power plants and energy facilities, as well as facilitating energy investments” said Philippines Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla. The Forum highlighted current state, gaps and opportunities of the energy sector in the Philippines. The benefits to host communities of energy projects, managing downstream industry, improving financing access of LGUs to energy projects and how to promote renewable energy were among the topics deeply discussed.
The Forum allowed pioneering LGUs to share their experience using energy revenues and resources to reduce poverty and to protect the environment. “The local governments play a more important and critical role on the effective and efficient exploration, development and utilization of the energy resources while protecting the environment within their territorial boundaries. They are empowered by law (Local Government Code of 1991) to take innovative decisions for this purpose” said Evelyn A. Trompeta Regional Director of the Department of Interior and Local Government.