by Elmer Recuerdo | October 30, 2023 | Published by The Calbayog Journal | READ THE STORY HERE

TACLOBAN CITY – Civil society organizations from the six provinces in Eastern Visayas convened to discuss possible measures to bring prices of electricity down in their respective localities.

Arturo Tahup, associate for community resilience of the nongovernment group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), said 27 nongovernment organizations convened for two-days forum last October 24-25 to push for “just energy transition” agenda as part of the energy planning in the local government units.

ICSC was one of the early responders during Typhoon Yolanda providing solar charging stations when the main grid went down for almost a year in the aftermath of the typhoon. ICSC, through its local office called RE-Charge Pilipinas, also introduced solar-powered public transportation and energized island barangays in Eastern Samar with a stand-alone solar home system.

“Energy is very important to be left alone to the government, the power company and electric cooperatives. Ordinary people, families, communities and local governments should be involved in charting a better energy future for all of us,” Tahup said.

Tahup explained that “just energy transition” means shifting from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources that will also benefit the poor and marginalized families.

He said that while renewable energy sourced from geothermal, solar, hydroelectric and wind are abundant in Eastern Visayas, the region remains heavily reliant on energy produced from a coal-power plant in Bataan, thus resulting in one of the highest power rates in the country.

The National Economic Development Authority regional office, in its regional development plan for 2023-2028, indicated that the average power rates in the region in September 2022 was at P18.28 per kilowatt hour or twice the rate in the National Capital Region at P9.94 during the same period.

“Despite generating 100 percent renewable energy, most of the region’s population consumes power generated from coal-fired power plants,” the development plan stated.

“More than half (53.9%) of the Visayas grid’s installed capacity is from coal and oil-based power plants, thus making the region vulnerable to disruptions in global market prices for coal and oil, e.g., price hikes due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict,” it added.

Tahup said the forum for CSOs also served as a preparation for the convening of the Multi-Stakeholder Consortium on the Just Energy Transition in Eastern Visayas this November.(CJ/ER/jmm)

– The Calbayog Journal, October 30, 2023

Photos lifted from The Calbayog Journal by Elmer Recuerdo