THE Department of Energy (DoE) said it will complete within the year its inspection of power projects implemented by local government units (LGUs) covered by new rules allowing them to benefit financially from such projects.
In a statement Thursday, the DoE said its Electric Power Industry Management Bureau-Rural Electrification Administration and Management Division (EPIMB-REAMD) has reviewed 53 of the 72 development projects funded under the Energy Regulations (ER) No. 1-94 Program.
Under ER No. 1-94, known as the Benefits to Host Communities Program, LGUs are entitled to avail of financial benefits for hosting energy resources and energy-generating facilities.
The program provides for generating companies and energy resource developers to set aside P0.01 per kilowatt-hour of their total electricity sales as financial benefits to host communities, which are to be allocated to three types of funds: one-half of one centavo for the electrification fund of the distribution utilities; one-fourth of one centavo for the development and livelihood fund; and another one-fourth of one centavo for the reforestation, watershed management, health and/or environment enhancement fund of the host LGUs.
“The Department has been working hard to complete the close-out of ER No. 1-94 projects so that the succeeding financial benefits will benefit the host communities directly,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi’s was quoted as saying in the statement.
He added that the direct remittance of financial benefits to host communities will lead to a considerable increase in public sector projects to be realized by host LGUs and their Distribution Utilities, which will redound to the benefit of their respective constituents and customers.
The direct remittance of financial benefits was among the major changes introduced into the new rules of the program. The move aims to cut red tape, streamlining the release of funding. — Janina C. Lim