Power, considered as one of the basic utility services in the country, continues to become more significant as it remains essential to improve the people’s quality of life in emerging economies.
Through the years, a steady increase in demand in various sectors such as business, transportation, agriculture, and in households, leads to the need of a sound power utility infrastructure to address the needs of all sectors.
Back in 2016, the Department of Energy released a report stating a significant 10% growth in electricity consumption due to several factors like the El Niño phenomenon and the National elections in the same year.
From high demands of Filipinos utilizing cooling equipment to beat the heat, to the need to maintain a clean and orderly election, power consumption peaked at 8.7%.
Role of private power utilities
We all know the drill, power utilities are companies that engage in distributing and generating electricity in different areas. Yet, there are more significant roles that power utilities corporations have.
“It ensures adequate access to basic services that individuals in this age cannot live without,” said Alsons Power Group in a statement forwarded to the Manila Standard.
National Power Corporation, a corporation controlled and owned by the government, encourages the private sectors through EPIRA or RA 19136 “to infuse private capital in the power industry.”
Napocor also fortifies the backbone of Philippines’ utility services in terms of power.
Meanwhile, the Energy Regulatory Commission regulates the rate that will be charged to all electricity end users. Moreover, ERC ensures that these electricity end users are charged with the approved subsidized rate “to sustain the true cost of generation of their facilities.”
Strengthening power utilities
To improve the lives of Filipinos, power enterprises guarantee that they will continue to boost the country’s power utility services.
Napocor emphasizes that aside from being an economic driver for development, having a strong power utility can attract local and foreign investors.
And the government cannot do it alone. Based on EPIRA, private sectors are encouraged to instill private capital in improving and strengthening the power industry. Moreover, while the government provides the policies like EPIRA, these private sectors produce the goods and services and provide jobs that boost the economy.
With that, private enterprises such as Alsons Power Group, Roxas Holdings, Inc., and the Energy Development Corporation have their ways of showing their support for our power facilities.
Alsons Power, being Mindanao’s first independent power producer, provides safe, reliable and affordable power to over eight million people in 13 cities and 8 provinces in the region.
In an email sent to Manila Standard, Alsons Power revealed that near the site of the Sarangani Energy Power Plant, in Maasim, Sarangani, they are engaged in the largest watershed protection project of its kind in the country to provide forest cover for the Siguil and Kamanga River watersheds. The project encompasses an area of 7,500 hectares which is larger than the City of Manila and almost twice the size of Makati.
With the continued high demand for power, Roxas Holdings, Inc. partners not just with the government in helping to strengthen the country’s power industry, but also collaborates with its communities and stakeholders with their corporate social responsibility campaigns.
Just like Roxas Holdings, EDC, being the largest producer of geothermal energy in the country, also contributes to fortify the backbone of the power utility sector. Recently, to magnify their CSR campaign, EDC has launched its BINHI program, “a species conservation program that focuses on native tree species.” Through this campaign, their mission is not just to plant native tree species but also to multiply and propagate them.
Filipino citizens are also welcome to participate in strengthening power facility. Private sectors of the power industry encourage people to participate in their CSR campaigns that can contribute to reinforcing the power utilities.
Empowering power for a rapid growth
As the high demand for power continues to rise, the more the government and private sectors need to improve and develop our power utilities. Government-owned Napocor is planning to put generation and transmission facilities to electrify all missionary areas not connected to the three major grids of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao that will result in the total electrification of the Philippines.
As for the private sectors, higher quality forms of infrastructures and more innovative solutions are expected to be prepared in the future for a stronger power facility.
But, are we prepared and how well-prepared our country is for more power industry projects and innovations? Napocor said that the Philippine power industry is very much matured. However, what the country needs are grants, soft loans and innovative solutions from neighboring countries to effectively implement the necessary power projects.
We already have the power sources that we need, what we must have is the support not just by other neighboring countries, but local investors who are willing to take the risk in developing and innovating what we have.