Government Energy Management Program: The Vital Role of LGUs in achieving an energy efficient Philippines.

Quezon City, Philippines – The Department Of Energy, in partnership with the EU-supported Access for Sustainable Energy Programme-Clean Energy Living Laboratories (ASEP-CELLs), ASEP-Technical Assistance (ASEP-TA), and ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI-SEAS), on 18 May 2021 successfully conducted a local government-focused pre-forum session regarding landmark national energy programs and policies. 125 representatives from local government units in the Visayas and Mindanao regions participated in the virtual session.

In support of ASEP-CELLs, ICLEI-SEAS convened Visayas and Mindanao LGU representatives for a pre-forum session regarding DOE’s call for compliance on landmark national energy programs and policies, including the Government Energy Management Program and Republic Act 11285 or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.

Director Patrick T. Aquino from the DOE-Energy Utilization and Management Bureau (DOE-EUMB) officially opened the pre-forum session with a brief discussion on the Government Energy Management Program (GEMP). The GEMP is a government-wide program that aims to reduce the government’s monthly consumption of electricity and petroleum products by 10% through energy efficiency and conservation (EE&C) strategies.

Director Aquino also highlighted the importance of establishing an LGU EE&C Office that shall lead the planning and adoption of local EE&C strategies for input to the upcoming Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan (LEECP). This plan is a collaborative and multi-stakeholder document that will contain a comprehensive EE&C framework, governance structure, and programs. The LEECP will guide LGUs as they create their EE&C targets, strategies, and monitoring and evaluation plans as mandated by the Republic Act 11285 or the EE&C Act.

Pending this milestone document, Kenneth Hizon, licensed Environmental Planner from ICLEI-SEAS, introduced the LEECP Matrix to the LGUs. This abridged version of the comprehensive LEECP encourages LGUs to immediately undertake steps to reducing their electricity consumption. It additionally enables LGUs to easily document their local EE&C strategies for transition into the LEECP proper.

Supplementing the discussion, Engr. Charlton Materum, ICLEI-SEAS consultant on the LEECP Guidebook, also presented the ASEP-CELLs-supported GEMP brochure, a primer for EE&C compliance in LGUs.

Specifically, the brochure contains GEMP reportorial requirements and mandates according to the EE&C Act. The brochure also contains the steps in completing the GEMP fuel and electricity consumption worksheets. These accompanying worksheets allow LGUs to monitor their energy consumption, which they can then use as a baseline when they start monitoring their overall EE&C strategies, consumption patterns, and savings.

The pre-forum also invited the City Government of Cagayan De Oro to discuss its compliance with the EE&C Act. Ramir Balquin, CDO City Planning and Development Coordinator, shared the city’s strategies to institutionalize EE&C, including enacting a local policy to establish an EE&C Office, designating an EE&C Officer, and creating EE&C-focused technical working groups and committees. Additionally, Mr. Balquin presented one of the city’s on-going EE&C projects: the replacement of sodium lamps on city streets with more efficient LED lights.

The pre-forum session was moderated by Ms. Nikki Ortiz, ICLEI-SEAS Project Officer,and was officially closed by ASEP-TA Senior Energy Efficiency Strategy Expert Ms. Josephine Mangila-Tioseco, the latter highlighting the LGU’s role in EE&C.

“Governments can and should lead the way in energy efficiency and conservation measures, coupled with the use of renewable energy,” concluded Ms. Mangila-Tioseco.

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