Cusi to keep energy policies, protect consumers

by Alena Mae S. Flores – June 29, 2016 at 11:15 pm

from Manila Standard Today

Incoming Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi vowed to look after the interest of consumers when dealing with issues in the sector.

“We’re looking at it from the perspective of the consumer… I’m here to lead based on the perspective of the consumer,” Cusi, who was at the department for a briefing of the attached agencies, told reporters Wednesday.

Cusi, the former general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority and a former chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, also assured the public of “continuity of programs,” especially the government’s mandate to provide reliable power to consumers.

The Philippine power industry is largely driven by the private sector under the policy mandated by the department.

Among the lingering issues faced by Cusi is the third round of renewable energy installation targets, specially the additional 500 megawatts for wind and 500 MW for solar power projects.

Outgoing Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada earlier said the department was studying the recommendation of the National Renewable Energy Board to increase the installation target for wind projects by 500 MW and solar power projects by 500 MW.

The department earlier approved 400 MW for wind and 500 MW for solar installation targets under the feed-in tariff scheme.

“NREB has submitted its recommendation but it’s still under study. I think the decision on the third FIT [feed-in tariff] might be for next administration. But we will be providing them with inputs so they will have initial basis or perspective,” Monsada said.

She cited several things that must be completed in the power sector.

“Most of that are for power. There’s a lot of things to complete. Priority would be RPS [renewable portfolio standards]. Next would be the RE market circular. And then FIT, whether we still need it so we can meet our 2030 targets,” she said.

Monsada said other issues that Cusi must focus on are the rules on the competitive selection process for the procurement of supply of distribution utilities.

She said the new administration would also have to look at implementing the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market in Mindanao as the supply would likely be adequate by the second half.

Monsada cited Cusi’s management experience that could work to his advantage at the department.

“It’s more on how you manage. It’s making things done than working on having the things done. Of course, it’s good if you have background, but management is more important,” the energy chief said.