THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) has stepped up plans to improve the delivery of electricity in Mindoro island as it looks to review a power development proposal for the province in partnership with Japan. In a statement on Thursday, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said his department, along with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan are planning to review Mindoro’s power development master plan as part of a power sector technical cooperation agreement (TCA) signed in June 2018. “Providing stable and reliable power in off-grid areas remains a considerable challenge to our goal of total electrification. Mindoro is one of those island provinces that has been plagued with power problems for decades,” Mr. Cusi said. The DoE described Mindoro as having communities remaining without electricity, while those with access to it suffer from unreliable services. The island, the country’s seventh largest, has a total land area of 10,571 square kilometers and a population of about two million. “With the help of METI, we will be able to undertake a comprehensive study of the Mindoro grid, and assess the feasibility of introducing a micro-grid system as a source of stable power. If everything goes well, Mindoro would serve as an electrification model for the rest of the off-grid islands in the Philippines,” Mr. Cusi said. Under the proposal, the DoE has requested METI, together with Japanese firm KPMG AZSA LLC, to provide technical assistance for the formulation of a comprehensive and integrated power system development and operational pIan for Mindoro. The proposal also seeks to help build capacity towards the total electrification of households in the island, particularly villages and communities in the peripheries of the remote uplands and coastal areas through the introduction of a micro-grid system. — Victor V. Saulon