Velasco welcomes EU officials at the House of Representatives

QUEZON CITY, Manila – Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, chairperson of the House Committee on Energy, on Tuesday, welcomed officials of the European Union at the House of Representatives.

The EU has allocated a grant of over PhP 3 billion to assist the Government of the Philippines to meet its rural electrification targets by means of renewable energy, and to promote energy efficiency through the Access to Sustainable Energy Programme or ASEP.

“Thanks to the European Union, the grant will go a long way into the dark corners of our archipelago,” Velasco said.

“We are inching closer to our goal of a reliable, sustainable, and affordable energy supply,” Velasco added.

The Marinduque lawmaker, who is expected to take on the speaker’s post in a year’s time, said the ASEP is a joint undertaking of the European Union and the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) with the aim of making electricity accessible and affordable to all Filipinos.

During the meeting, Velasco and the EU officials led by Douglas Liner, team leader of the EU’s-Access to Sustainable Energy Programme discussed the salient points and the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 11285 (An Act Institutionalizing Energy Efficiency And Conservation, Enhancing The Efficient Use Of Energy, And Granting Incentives To Energy Efficiency And Conservation Projects).

The Law, signed in April 2019, seeks to secure the country’s energy supply by making EEC a national way of life.

Under the law, LGUs will be mandated to develop and submit local EEC plans and provide updates on their progress annually.

And on the part of the government, it will provide incentives and special financing for their EEC-related projects.

Velasco said that the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law are expected to be signed this month. The relevant guidelines governing LGUs’ EEC plans and reporting will be developed by the DOE in coordination with the Department of the Interiors and Local Government (DILG) soon after the IRR is signed.

On Monday, also at the House of Representatives, Velasco and Alexander Ablaza, President of the Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance (PE2), led the ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally open the exhibit dubbed “A Showcase of Energy Efficiency Services and Technologies Exhibit.”

In his remarks, Velasco said the Philippines had no EEC law for over 28 years and is the among the last ASEAN member states to enforce Energy Efficiency and Conservation measures through legislation, which ended with the passage last year of Republic Act 11285.

To boost our country’s EEC efforts, Ablaza said that P12 Trillion shall be mobilized as energy efficiency capital for the year 2040 for private and public energy sector efficiency projects. – Marinduquenews.com

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