By Myrna M. Velasco – Updated April 25, 2018, 10:25 PM
from Manila Bulletin
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi relayed to media that he had gotten positive response from power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) on his department’s plea for them to energize the so-called ‘unviable domain’ of Isla Verde in Batangas province.
The energy chief said “they (Meralco) responded to my letter, and they said, they will do the electrification,” of the specified island.
He admitted though that he has yet to go through the details of the letter-response as to the timeframe on when the utility firm will pursue the energization of Isla Verde.
Cusi formally corresponded with Meralco President Oscar S. Reyes on the matter, seeking also an explanation why that particular area has not been energized for the longest time.
“Since the island is within your franchise area, may we be apprised on the reasons why the island was unserved by Meralco,” Cusi has stipulated in his letter to Reyes.
The energy chief further requested the giant distribution company to submit “a proposed electrification plan, with the definitive timeline for the said area.”
Aside from Verde Island, Meralco’s action to provide electricity service to Cagbalete, another unserved domain at its franchise area in Quezon province has similarly been raised to the utility firm’s attention.
Cusi stressed in the correspondence to Meralco that the electrification of these ‘unserved’ and ‘underserved areas’ is part of the review that the energy department has been undertaking, on the intent also to allow third party qualifiers to provide electricity in these jurisdictions.
President Rodrigo Duterte himself has directed the DOE and Energy Regulatory Commission to push for measures that could hasten the electrification of marginal rural areas in the country.
The energy department has given its commitment to this Presidential mandate, hence, it has already started its work along the areas served by the biggest utility firm of the country.
Cusi narrated that in the President’s words, he wants to “put a stop” to hurdles in the electrification of rural areas, or those labeled by power utilities as “not-viable enough to be served.”