PASAY CITY - A bill seeking to advance energy efficiency and conservation practices in the Philippines is now awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte's signature.
During the Water Philippines 2019 Conference, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi revealed the copy of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act has been delivered to the Office of the President.
“As of yesterday, I was informed by the Office of the Executive Secretary that the bill has officially been transmitted to Malacañang last Friday,” Cusi said in a speech delivered by Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella.
“Energy Conservation and Efficiency Act is being readied for signature of the President. We take a proactive stance as we prepare for its implementing rules and regulations,” Cusi added.
Under the law, a bill may become a law, even without the President's signature, if the Chief Executive does not sign a bill within 30 days from receipt in his office.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act mandates the creation of a National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan that defines national targets, details feasible strategies, and imposes a regular monitoring and evaluation system.
Cusi noted this will require establishments to adopt energy saving practices depending on the level of their energy consumption.
The measure would also institutionalize these energy efficiency and conservation standards and strategies in local governance through the creation of a Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan and the inclusion of Guidelines on Energy Conserving Design on Buildings in the issuance of building permits.
To further encourage complete compliance to the energy standards to be proposed, the senator added that the measure would include incentives as well as technical assistance from government agencies.
The bill would also create an Inter-Agency Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee that will be tasked to provide strategic direction in the implementation of the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP), a program to reduce monthly consumption of electricity and petroleum products by the government.
Prior to the measure's approval at the bicameral conference-level, the Congress has been trying to pass such measure since the idea was brought up in the 8th Congress in 1988 but to no avail.
Cusi pointed out the energy efficiency law's ratification will result in lower energy demand and increased energy security which will then translate to improved productivity and energy savings for our consumers.
“When the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act will be put in place, it will be a game changed because it will make impacts on the big issues that we face like the reduction of energy use, increased energy security, address fuel dependency to drive economic activities, and create more jobs,” he said.