THE Department of Energy (DoE) said it devolved the functions of the bureaus in the central office to its three field offices in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

It called the reorganization an “institutional strengthening” to decentralize the implementation of its policies, plans, programs and regulations.

The DoE’s Department Order No. DO2018-03-004 has listed seven general functions of the department’s bureaus and service units to be exercised by the three field offices in their respective jurisdictions, including the conduct of regional-based monitoring activities, evaluations, surveys, profiling, site visits or inspections, and spot checks.

The DoE said there is a need to devolve its functions to the field offices “to optimize its operations and in order to synchronize and to eliminate redundant functions.”

In its order, the DoE also devolved the specific functions of the following bureaus: Energy Resource Development Bureau, Energy Utilization Management Bureau, Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, Oil Industry Management Bureau, Energy Policy and Planning Bureau, and Renewable Energy Management Bureau.

For energy resource development, for instance, the field offices have been given the authority to accept, evaluate and act on applications involving small-scale coal mining permits, mine safety inspector and mine safety engineer permits; and to cancel or terminate such permits for cause.

The field offices are also to inspect, evaluate and monitor small-scale coal mining operations, as well as investigate and validate illegal coal mining activities.

They are also authorized to accept, evaluate and act on applications for the issuance of coal trader permits and coal end-user registrations, and monitor their reportorial compliance pursuant to existing DoE circulars.

The bureau covering electric power management has devolved to the field offices its specific functions, such as the monitoring of plants, site visits for new power plants or those undergoing construction or expansion.

In case of an emergency such as forced outage, calamity, fire and sudden breakdown, the field offices are also mandated to perform the functions of the Manila-based bureau.

The field offices are also authorized to conduct performance audits or the audit of the actual capacity of power generation plants, transmission and distribution facilities.

The DoE undersecretary or assistant secretary in charge of the field offices are to oversee “the efficiency and effectivity of the performance of the general and specific functions” enumerated in the department order.

Also this month, the DoE issued an order, DO2018-03-0003, that created a centralized review and evaluation committee for the integration of the current committees administering the review and evaluation of renewable energy, petroleum, downstream natural gas, and coal service contract applications, as well as the award, amendment and termination of contracts.

The centralized review and evaluation committee is to be headed by Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos as chairman, with Assistant Secretary Caron Aicitel E. Lascano as vice-chairman. The members of the committee are assistant secretaries Redentor E. Delola, Leonido C. Pulido III and Gerardo D. Erguiza, Jr. — Victor V. Saulon