DoE links up with university students


LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA — The Department of Energy (DoE) held the first leg of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaigns for the year on the implementation of Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) on Thursday at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna (UPLB).

The DoE-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau (EPIMB) and the DoE-Consumer Welfare Promotion Office co-sponsored the IEC series in collaboration with the UPLB College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said, “The energy industry, particularly the power sector, is highly technical. We need to equip our future energy professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills that would allow them to keep up with developments and innovate further. This is also a good opportunity for the DoE to build stronger partnerships with the academe on economic and energy development.”

DoE-EPIMB assistant director Irma Exconde and Luningning Baltazar, chief of the EPIMB-Power Market Development Division, led the discussions on the Philippine power sector, which included an orientation on sectoral reforms, power systems, government plans and programs, components of electricity charges, the wholesale electricity spot market, retail competition and open access, as well as the magna carta for residential consumers.
Representatives from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) presented the agency’s mandates and the components of unbundled electricity rates.

This was followed by an open forum, where the discourse revolved around the benefits of EPIRA, the government’s Total Electrification Program, strategies to lower generation costs, maximizing renewable energy sources, consumer protection, and the impact of electricity prices on the costs of goods and services.

More than 200 students attended the IEC, with succeeding campaigns to take place in other Philippine universities and colleges in the coming months.