MANILA – The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) on Thursday forged an agreement with the Department of Energy (DOE) to allow the use of irrigation facilities for renewable energy development.
The memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed by NIA Acting Administrator Eduardo Guillen and DOE Undersecretary Sharon Garin in a ceremony at Malacañan Palace in Manila.
The agreement aims to optimize the country’s use of renewable energy and make it more accessible to the public.
Under the MOA, the DOE will utilize the existing NIA irrigation facilities and the ongoing constructions, including areas identified and listed for future irrigation development projects, “for public consumption” without compromising the irrigation office’s operations.
As part of the strategic initiative, NIA’s irrigation water will not only help the agency expand economically and generate additional funds for the operation and maintenance of its irrigation facilities but also allow the DOE to provide the public with better access to clean and reasonably priced energy sources.
The agreement formalized the two agencies’ partnership to enhance the nationwide approach to attain the country’s goal to generate 35 percent of power from renewable energy sources by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.
In a speech after the signing ceremony, Guillen said the collaboration between the NIA and the DOE would help streamline the applications for renewable energy service contracts.
“So, basically, ang NIA ngayon ay, of course, kausap ng Department of Energy bago sila mag-issue ng renewable energy service contracts para in sync ‘yung aming galaw at hindi ho nagkakaroon ng future problems (The NIA is now, of course, talking to the Department of Energy before it issues renewable energy service contracts so that our actions are in sync and we do not have future problems),” he said.
“Ito po ay nagkakaroon kami ng convergence effort para dito sa kagustuhan ng ating Pangulo (Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.) na ma-improve ang ating energy sector and of course, sa amin sa NIA, itong irrigation natin (This is why we are having a convergence effort for our President's wish to improve our energy sector and of course, for us at NIA, our irrigation),” Guillen added.
Garin said the partnership is one way of hastening meeting the target of a 35 percent share of renewable energy in the power generation mix by 2030, as well as the goal of attaining food security and energy security in the country.
“The DOE is very glad and we are very much committed to pursuing this project,” she said. “It will protect both the assets of NIA as well as generate power not only for irrigation but also for the communities around. It’s a very commendable achievement of the whole government.”
Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Dominic Guevara, who witnessed the signing of the MOA, said more projects will be in the pipeline to ensure the country will have potable water by 2040. (PNA)