MANILA – Twenty-four local government units (LGUs) across the country are currently being assisted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Energy Secure Philippines (ESP) program, which aims to help LGUs roll out policies and initiatives in the energy sector.
The USAID ESP mentors these 24 LGUs to institutionalize Local Energy Codes (LEC), conduct energy audits, develop Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plans (LEECP), develop Local Energy Plans (LEP), to comply with the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP), and integrate the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) system.
Beneficiaries of the USAID program are the provincial governments of Ilocos Norte, Isabela, and Batangas, as well as the LGUs of Makati and Muntinlupa in Metro Manila; Burgos and Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte; San Fernando, La Union; La Trinidad, Benguet; Bay and Sta. Rosa in Laguna; Batangas City; Legazpi City; and Irosin, Sorsogon for Luzon.
For Visayas, LGUs getting technical assistance from the USAID are Iloilo Province; Iloilo City; Cadiz City, Negros Occidental; Leyte Province; Ormoc City; and Hinabangan, Catbalogan, and Calbiga in Samar.
Mindanao ESP beneficiaries include Cagayan de Oro City and Davao del Sur Province.
Through the ESP program, 19 LGUs have institutionalized their LECs; 12 are implementing energy audits; eight have developed LEECPs; five have integrated EVOSS system; and two have already developed LEPs.
In a forum organized by the Department of Energy (DOE) and USAID in Taguig City Friday, DOE Director for Energy Utilization Management Bureau Director Patrick Aquino highlighted the vital role of LGUs in rolling out national policies on energy.
“It is indeed an opportune time as our government is really committed to not only promoting but more importantly encouraging our local government unit partners as a whole-of-government effort to maximize energy-efficient technologies and switch to clean and renewable energy sources, ensuring the country’s energy security,” Aquino said.
“The Department of Energy has long recognized the vital role that LGUs play in helping realize and deliver these goals to our country,” he added.
The ESP is a five-year program allotting USD34 million to mobilize USD750 million in investments from the private sector to stimulate an additional generation capacity of 500 megawatts. (PNA)