BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The Department of Energy vowed to energize more far-flung areas in Negros Occidental, through its Household Electrification Program, Visayas field officer Russmark Gamallo said over the weekend.
Gamallo said the DOE is closely coordinating with the electric cooperatives to energize areas especially the sitios using Solar Home System installations.
But he said that since the agency has limited funds, they will prioritize the energization of depressed areas and those that have income-generation potentials.
Gamallo said it is not only in Negros Occidental where there are areas yet to be energized because the situation is also true of the other provinces in the Visayas.
Danny Pondevilla, vice president for the Visayas of the National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives in the Philippines, said that in areas being serviced by the Central Negros Electric Cooperative, about 500 sitios are still not energized.
Pondevilla, who is also the general manager of both Ceneco and the Northern Negros Electric Cooperative, said the solar home system being provided by the DOE will help a lot especially in areas that cannot be reached by the grid of the electric firms.
He added that electrifying far-flung sitios will entail additional expenses for electric cooperatives.
Gamallo said the DOE has a time frame for energizing sitios and other far-flung areas but admitted that this is difficult to attain due to the increasing population and the creation of more communities in hard-to-reach places.
NO ENERGY CRISIS
Gamallo clarified that there is no energy crisis in Negros Occidental because the supply is abundant with the presence of geothermal and solar plants. In fact, the excess energy of the province should be exported to other areas, he added.
He said the rest of the Visayas also has enough power supply, adding that the DOE is pushing for the utilization of renewable energy aside from fossil fuel as source of power.*