Consumer group to Cusi: Focus on DOE, not PDP-Laban


A consumer group has reminded Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi that he is being paid taxpayer money and thus, should focus on electricity rates and the power situation which it says has worsened under his watch.

The Power for People Coalition (P4P) called out Cusi for his “preoccupation” with PDP-Laban’s affairs in the wake of the recent Red and Yellow Alerts in Luzon.

Amid a split over next year’s elections, PDP-Laban — Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s party — elected Cusi as its president on Saturday.

P4P convenor Gerry Arances pointed out that the fracas inside the part showed that Cusi can work quickly and effectively to get what he wants. Arances, then, went on to ask if Cusi wants what’s best for electricity consumers after five years in office.

Arances also said that aside from Cusi’s inability to manage power rates, the secretary also saw the country turn to coal as its primary source of energy, which runs counter to the country’s commitments to the Paris Agreement.

The Department of Energy (DOE) imposed a moratorium on the building of new coal plants in the country in October 2020. Nonetheless, P4P slammed Cusi for depending more on liquefied natural gas (LNG) more than renewable energy sources as replacement for coal.

At least seven LNG terminal projects have been given notices-to-proceed by the DOE with the Malampaya gas field’s supply seen to run out between 2022 and 2027.

Last week, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate also called Cusi’s attention to focus on the DOE instead of politicking.