A program of the Department of Energy (DOE) providing host communities a share from the total electricity sales of the power generation companies is now helping local governments to improve their pandemic response.
Amid the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, the DOE issued a circular allowing the use of Energy Regulations 1-94 or the ER 1-94 program fund for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response of host communities to energy generation firms.
Under the ER 1-94 program, host communities of power generation facilities are entitled to PHP0.01 per kilowatt-hour of the total electricity sales of the energy companies. Their shares should be used for financing electrification, livelihood, and development projects such as reforestation, watershed management, health, and environmental enhancement initiatives.
The DOE told the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday that cumulative ER 1-94 funds remitted by the department to the host local government units (LGUs) reached PHP3.36 billion from September 2019 until Sept. 25 this year.
For instance, AboitizPower has downloaded a total of PHP40.6 million as of end-September to local governments and barangays in the province of Cebu.
In a statement Wednesday, AboitizPower said PHP24.8 million of the ER 1-94 fund for Cebu local government units (LGUs) was remitted in 2019.
About PHP15.8 million was recently remitted to Cebu Province, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Toledo City, as well as host barangays of AboitizPower’s projects in these localities.
The host beneficiary of Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI), Barangy Bato in Toledo City, has utilized its PHP4.24 million shares for distribution of relief goods to 3,200 families and 2,400 households. TVI is an AboitizPower unit.
“This really goes a long way for a barangay, especially now with Covid-19. We already finished our first and second tranches of relief distribution and because of the ER 1-94 remittances, we will be able to extend up to a fourth tranche,” said Barangay Bato Chairperson Rosalio Cereno said.
The Toledo City government, on the other hand, will use its PHP5.39 million benefits to buy disinfecting equipment, personal protective gear, testing kits, agri-fishery inputs, relief goods, and to pay for the housing of frontline workers, among others.
For Lapu-Lapu City LGU, its ER 1-94 share has provided the city with an available fund to buy alcohol and disinfectant for its isolation facilities.
“The transfer of the ER 1-94 funds was timely as it allowed the city to purchase alcohol and disinfectants, which were some of the items that the city did not have any existing budget allocation,” Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan said.
Meanwhile, Barangay Ibo in Lapu-Lapu City, AboitizPower’s East Asia Utilities Corp. host community, plans to use a portion of the fund to purchase anti-flu vaccines for its residents.
Source: Philippines News Agency