The Department of Energy (DOE) has declared a total of 69 locations in Negros Occidental and Palawan as remote, underserved and unserved areas, which are open for the private sector to provide electricity services as a Qualified Third Party (QTP).
According to a public notice, which was signed by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, six of these service areas are in the franchise area of Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Noceco) while 63 are handled by Palawan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Paleco).
The QTP is an alternative electric service provider duly qualified and authorized by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to serve QTP Service Areas, pursuant to Section 59 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 and Rule 14 of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), for the purpose of encouraging private sector participation in rural/missionary electrification, while accelerating the total electrification of the country.
Participation as a QTP shall be open to any party, including but not limited to private firms, local government units, cooperatives, non-government organizations, generation companies or their subsidiaries, or subsidiaries of Distribution Utilities (DU) that demonstrated the capability and willingness to comply with relevant technical, financial, and other requirements through a Competitive Bidding process.
According to a press release, the DOE is determined to fast-track its total electrification program for the country to make electricity available to all unserved and underserved households in the country. According to the DOE, as of December 2017, more than 20.9 million out of 23.7 million households in the country have access to electricity, yielding an 88.3% household electrification rate.
(Sources: Department of Energy; BusinessWorld)