The Philippines has one of the highest electricity rates in Asia today and the Philippine government has urged private companies to help bring down the cost of electricity and in meeting the growing demand for energy.
Socio-economic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia has stressed the role of power companies, in partnering with the government, is crucial to economic growth.
“Noting that energy security is a critical input to stimulating and sustaining socioeconomic development, the private sector can participate in the generation of additional power to meet the growing demands of the country,” Pernia said.
Chapter 19 of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 states that, despite efforts to pursue nationwide distribution of electricity, many rural and off-grid areas still have no access to stable power.
The household electrification level of the country is at 89.6 percent with Luzon and Visayas at 94.8 and 92.4 percent. Mindanao, however, is still at 72.4 percent.
Pernia identified power and electrification as vital to the growth of the agriculture, fishery, and forestry sectors.
Power companies can participate through the Qualified Third Party (QTP) program, which is designed to attract alternative service providers and private investments in rural electrification.
“Participating in energy development projects will promote competition, increase power generation, and ultimately drive down electricity rates.”
Secretary Pernia explained that this is consistent with the administration’s plan to prioritize the provision of electricity services to the remaining not electrified off-grid, island, remote, and last-mile communities to achieve total household electrification by 2022.