The Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Energy Secure Philippines (ESP), organized its Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) assembly to advocate and encourage local government units (LGUs) to actively engage in the energy conservation programs.
USAID ESP Chief of Party Divina Chingcuanco said that the partnership with LGUs is considered “symbiotic,” and working together would require harmony.
“There needs to be a balance on how we support LGUs, how we recommend LGUs that we need to support, and we’re pretty happy with the mix of LGUs we work with,” Chingcuanco said.
The CLA opened the discourse on the implementation of the Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan (LEECP) and Government Energy Management Program (GEMP).
Various LGUs discussed their plans, execution, and struggles in implementing energy management programs such as the Energy Virtual One Stop Shop (EVOSS) and how these programs can still be improved.
When asked about the integration of EVOSS into their system, Iloilo government board member Hon. Rolando Distura said that the system is already integrated, the only problem is its application since it is still very new.
“Currently we integrated already the system in our permitting but the challenge really is when the actual application will really start. Actually, we are still waiting for applications that will come in because we are determining what level of project initiatives will go in the process of EVOSS.” said Distura.
Noticeably, one of the main challenges the LGUs encountered with the EVOSS integration was how the application would work and the speed of approval.
To this, the DOE said that processes should be documented, streamlined, and fully incorporated into the system.
“The Department of Energy has long recognized the vital role that LGUs play in helping realize and deliver these goals to our continent. of energy policies and regulations such as those embodied under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation EEC Act, the LGU Energy Code are critical tasks assigned to our partners in the LGU,” said DOE Energy Utilization Management Bureau Mr. Patrick Aquino.