DOE to include post-Odette assessment in Energy Resiliency Policy review

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The Department of Energy (DOE) will be including its assessment of the widespread damage left by Typhoon Odette to the country’s energy sector in the review of the Energy Resiliency Policy.

At a press conference on Monday, Energy Usec. Felix William Fuentebella said that the review would cover major the major areas of infrastructure strengthening or the concept of “building back better,” prepositioning and stockpiling of personnel and equipment, standard operating procedure and emergency response.  

As for infrastructure strengthening in particular, Fuentebella said the DOE is “looking into improvements of standards, including, but not limited to, selected areas for underground cabling.”

Vice President Leni Robredo had said that she would prioritize underground power lines should she win the presidency in the May 2022 elections. Business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan agrees with her, adding that the plan should be long-term.

Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi signed the policy in 2018, which is up for review every three years. Fuentebella said the strategy was supposed to be revised this December in particular, but had to be postponed in the wake of Odette’s onslaught.

“After we complete the restoration efforts for the first quarter [of 2022], we will tackle a lot of energy efficiency [and information education] campaigns,” Fuentebella said.

“We will [also] be holding the resiliency public consultations with the downstream oil industry first, then the power sector second, and third is for the general public,” he added.

Fuentebella said the DOE will also coordinate with the Department of Finance to tap international funding for the restoration efforts.

“In the previous COP26 that we attended, we were focusing on loss and damage. Nagkaroon ng pag-uusap kung anong magiging function ng Santiago Network,” he said.

The Santiago Network is an international platform wherein technical knowledge on losses and damages (L&D) would be transferred to countries vulnerable to climate change like the Philippines. It also provides for the discussion of financing to address L&D concerns.