ASEP-CELLs, ICLEI SEAS lead Mandanas Ruling and EEC discussions

The ASEP-CELLs and the ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS) earlier this year conducted virtual discussions regarding the Supreme Court’s Mandanas Ruling and the Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan (LEECP)—a key requirement of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EEC) Act.

The policies are expected to affect the response of Local Government Units (LGUs) to the EEC Act and the Government Energy Management Program, the overarching national EEC program.

ASEP CELLs and ICLEI SEAS held the roundtable discussion on the Mandanas Ruling on 18 March 2021. Almost 30 participants from government agencies involved in the decision’s implementation were present to discuss its salient points.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Mandanas case entails transferring particular basic services from the national executive branch to LGUs, increasing the latter’s fiscal responsibilities

Present for the discussion were Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Laura Pascua; DOE Assistant Secretary Caron Aicitel Lascano, DOE-EUMB Director Patrick Aquino; Department of Finance Director Ma. Pamela Quizon; the Government Procurement Policy Board OIC-Division Chief Atty. Katherine Rose Merza; and National Economic and Development Authority Senior Economic Development Specialist Narcielyn Rizal-Tanchiatco.

Representatives from the ASEP-TA and the Ateneo School of Government also raised vital questions related to financing concerns and functions of LGUs.

The ruling is not anticipated to significantly impact EEC localization as the LGUs have discretion on local project and program implementations. DBM, chair of the inter-agency committee on the devolution process, highlighted that the additional resources can in fact help LGUs establish their respective Local EEC Offices, a primary requirement of the EEC Act.

The full devolution is expected to take effect by 2022 through Executive Order No. 138 that will officially transfer certain national executive functions to LGUs.

Meanwhile, the LEECP discussion on 22 July 2021 gathered feedback on the LEECP Guidebook, a resource in formulating, assessing, and aligning local EEC strategies based on the EEC Act and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) directives.

Jointly developed by ASEP-CELLs and ICLEI SEAS, the LEECP Guidebook supports the DOE-Energy Utilization Management Bureau (DOE-EUMB) and LGUs in mainstreaming EEC in local planning.

The consultation also conveyed the need to integrate the LGU Energy Code, the LGUs’ Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP), the National CCAP, and other relevant local development plans to streamline LEECP development. In attendance were DOE-EUMB, ASOG, EU ASEP-TA, University of San Carlos, Xavier University, and the Philippine Institute of Energy Management Professionals. The guidebook was also shared to the Department of the Interior and Local Government – Bureau of Local Government Development for evaluation.

The LEECP Guidebook is currently undergoing another round of review. The revised version will be presented by September and will be submitted for DOE approval before year end.

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