MANILA- The Department of Energy (DOE) is eyeing 100 percent household electrification in the country by the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, aiming to bring power over the next five years to nine percent of homes across the country that remain in the dark.
Addressing a Rotary Club event Friday, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said household electrification is a “priority," noting that efforts have raised the number of households with access to electricity to 90.65 percent as of December last year.
Homes in Luzon and the Visayas are almost fully energized at 95.5 percent and 94 percent respectively, he said.
Government is meanwhile "doubling efforts" to energize a quarter of households without power in Mindanao, where the electrification status remains at 74 percent.
“We are aggressive in working our way up to achieve our desired 100 percent mark… In fact, our household electrification program teams and partners are continuously facilitating the provision of electricity service to the identified areas with remaining unenergized households,” he said.
He said government is pushing for the development of indigenous sources of fuel to avoid overdependence on a single source.
The country currently relies heavily on coal-fed and diesel-fired power plants, accounting for roughly half of the total energy supply per government estimates as of 2016.
Some 30 percent meanwhile is sourced from natural gas plants and 10 percent from renewable energy sources such as solar power, wind farms and geothermal plants.
Last year, Cusi initiated a study into the viability of opening the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, saying nuclear energy was one of the options for the Philippines to meet its increasing power needs.
“We are consciously and consistently finding a balance on our overall energy mix by being technology and resource neutral. We have to avoid overdependence on any one particular fuel source, so we will not be tied to it when access and availability of a certain resource becomes scarce,” Cusi said.
On Friday, advocates for renewable power held a rally outside the Department of Energy headquarters to protest the country’s dependence to coal.