Aboitiz Power favors move allowing ER 1-94 funds for response to coronavirus pandemic
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Aboitiz Power hails the decision to allow communities that host power generation projects to use their revenue share from these facilities for measures to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
On April 6, 2020, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued Department Circular No. 2020-04-00080, which guidelines on the use of host communities’ share in electricity sales for hosting power projects, which is also known as the Energy Regulations 1-94 (ER 1-94) Program funds.
The said circular covering ER 1-94 funds enables the host-local government unit to use their share to
manage the effects of the pandemic, in accordance with the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. This includes the facilitation of mass testing by providing and constructing facilities, as well as acquiring proper medical testing kits.
Aboitiz Power president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Rubio said this development was a push in the right direction as it is expected to aid in strengthening local government response to the ongoing health crisis.
“We thank Secretary (Alfonso) Cusi and the DOE for this proactive initiative. We stand ready to collaborate with them and our local government units (LGUs) to facilitate the quick disbursement of these funds in the fight against COVID-19,” Rubio said in an emailed press release.
The ER 1-94 Program is a policy under the DOE Act of 1992 and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), which stipulates that host communities will get a share of one centavo for every kilowatt-hour (P0.01/kWh) generated by power plants operating in its area.
The fund can be used by host beneficiaries for the electrification of areas or households that have no access to power, development and livelihood programs, as well as reforestation, watershed management, health, and environmental enhancement initiatives.
Aboitiz Power is currently downloading P146 million worth of funds generated as of December 25, 2019 to around 130 host beneficiaries across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Another P338 million from various Aboitiz Power-led generating companies, accumulated as of 2018, is also currently being remitted by DOE to the host beneficiaries.
“This is our contribution to the government’s efforts to ensure that all LGUs have enough resources to help contain, mitigate, and eventually eliminate the spread of COVID-19 in their areas,” Rubio added. /bmjo
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