MANDAUE CITY – An international organization, in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE), on Thursday, barnstormed Cebu to raise awareness on the involvement of local government units (LGUs) in energy efficiency and conservation efforts laid down under a new law.

In a forum organized by the European Union-Access to Sustainable Energy Program (ASEP), Ma. Lourdes Arciaga, DOE-Energy Resource Development, and Utilization Division chief, said the event was aimed at engaging LGUs in the discussions on energy efficiency and conservation plans and exchanges on specific programs implemented in their respective localities.

She cited Republic Act 11285, the landmark legislation signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on April 12, 2019 that enjoins government entities to practice conservation on energy utilization.

The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA 11285, otherwise known as the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Law, was promulgated by the DOE in November 2019, she said.

“One of the salient features of RA 11285 is the involvement of local government units in energy efficiency and conservation initiatives particularly in the area of local EEC (energy efficiency and conservation) planning, management programs as well as on local investment and financing of energy efficiency projects,” Arciaga said in his remarks during the Visayas Energy Efficiency and Conservation Forum for Local Development at Bai Hotel here.

She thanked the EU-ASEP for partnering with the energy department and the Asian Development Bank and Access to Sustainable Energy Program-Clean Energy Living Laboratories (ASEP-CELLS) in conducting a series of forum promoting RA 11285. The event in Mandaue City was the fifth of the fora.

Arciaga highlighted the role of LGUs in laying out locally initiated energy conservation programs, stressing that the Visayas is home to 16 provinces spread in three regions, six highly urbanized cities, 33 component cities and 369 municipalities with an over 19.3 million population.

The Visayas regions, she said, is also a host to “nine economic zones, 59 Information Technology parks and centers, five tourism zones, 411 universities and colleges, almost 2,000 industrial, commercial, construction, and manufacturing companies, 698 hotels and resorts, 259 hospitals and 550 national government agency offices,”

“With the EEC law in place, this is now the dawn to a more dynamic, holistic and synergetic movement to propel EEC as a way of life in the government, private companies, communities and most importantly in every household,” Arciaga said.

During the presentation of the IRR of the law, Patrick Aquino, director of DOE’s Energy Utilization and Management Bureau, highlighted that big savings in terms of monetary resources would be achieved if EEC practices are put in place in private and government offices.

“The amount that can be paid up here, the portions can be spent for other purposes and other priorities of LGUs,” Aquino said.

Architect Araceli Barlam, community environment and natural resource officer of Mandaue City, shared to more than 60 participants of the forum the LGU’s “Green Building Ordinance.”

Barlam said the local measure which was first implemented in 2015 requires building owners to construct structures using environment-friendly methods and utilize resources that would be least disruptive to the environment.

The ordinance, she said, also promotes maximizing sunlight as a natural source of energy and using ambient air as natural ventilation. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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