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PBBM seeks position paper on joint venture power agreement

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has directed Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez to come up with a position paper on the proposed joint venture agreements between local government units and renewable energy power suppliers, aimed at helping bring down the high cost of energy, to be presented to the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The instruction was made by Marcos Jr. during a short briefing by some government agencies as he was attending the highlights of the 43rd MassKara Festival in Bacolod City, on October 23.

Discussed during the meeting was the introduction of amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), to make use of renewable energy to bring down the cost of power.

The EPIRA law prohibits producers from selling power directly to the user, directly sending to the grid instead.

The idea of joint venture agreements between local government units and RE providers, will most likely reduce electric costs for consumers, said Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who attended the briefing.

Despite Negros Island being known for producing solar and geothermal energy, electric cooperatives rely much of their energy sources from coal, which is now expensive, Lacson said.

Whatever the opinion of ERC on the matter would be the basis of an amendment to the EPIRA law, Marcos Jr. said, in a press statement issued by the Office of the Press Secretary.*

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