Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Philippine Energy Efficient Project pipped in Mindanao

A man shows off incandescent bulbs he purchased from the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative that will entitle him to get free a maximum of six compact fluorescent lamps as part of the National Residential Lighting Program of the Philippine Energy Efficient Project. (Mindanao Examiner Photo).

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 1, 2010) – Manila has resumed the Philippine Energy Efficient Project or PEEP which aims to eliminate the use of incandescent bulbs and switch to compact fluorescent lamps as part of its National Residential Lighting Program.

As many as 68 million incandescent bulbs are believed being used in the country today, but the program aims to replace only 13 million of these bulbs. And 33 power cooperatives in Mindanao, including the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative have begun collecting incandescent bulbs and exchange them with compact fluorescent lamps.

The Department of Energy said the compact fluorescent lamp uses less electricity than incandescent bulb and due to its low power consumption, there is less pollution. It said a 60-watt incandescent bulb can be replaced with a 15-watt compact fluorescent lamp.

Up to six compact fluorescent lamps are being given to each consumer in exchange for their incandescent bulbs. However, only the most recent electric bill will be used as proof to entitle the consumers to claim their free compact fluorescent lamps.

But this early, the program is already laden with scandals, at least in Zamboanga City where the local cooperative has been reported selling 25-watt incandescent bulbs for 20 pesos each to consumers who then exchange them for free compact fluorescent lamps being offered by the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative.

The local prices of a 40-watt incandescent bulb range from 13 to 15 pesos each.

But under the National Residential Lighting Program, electric cooperatives are not allowed to sell incandescent bulbs to consumers. It was the second time this year that the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative launched the program.

Reynerio Ramos, the general manager of the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, said he was not aware of the selling of incandescent bulbs inside the premises of the firm.

“Let me check about this. I am not aware of it,” Ramos said.

The electric cooperatives and private distribution utilities were also briefed in July this year in Mindanao about the program to ensure that Clean Development Mechanism rules will be followed not only during distribution of compact fluorescent lamps and proper disposal of incandescent bulbs.

The briefing provided step-by-step procedures on how to implement and record, and monitor the distribution of compact fluorescent lamps.

Scores of consumers have flocked to the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative to buy the bulbs and exchange them with fluorescent lamps so they can avail of the free government offer.

“Somebody is making a killing out of this program. Somebody is benefiting from this business,” said one consumer who purchased a dozen incandescent bulbs in the local cooperative and exchanged them for free compact fluorescent lamps.

Another consumer said he was able to buy six incandescent bulbs at the cooperative for 120 pesos and exchanged them with six compact fluorescent lamps and was contemplating of selling it to his neighbors for 75 pesos each.

Just this year, the Zamboanga City Cooperative was criticized for its purchase of brand new vehicles and luxury cars for its executives despite its huge debts and inefficient services.

The compact fluorescent lamps being distributed by the government is not for sale and the Department of Energy even printed on its boxes a telephone hotline number 02-82402267 where consumers can inquire about the program. The boxes also contained the picture of former President Gloria Arroyo, who first launched the program last year.

The project is worth over $31 million, mostly grant from the Asian Development Bank.

The government project intends to seek carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Through this mechanism, developing countries, such as the Philippines, can host projects that reduce greenhouse gases and help achieve the country’s sustainable development objectives.

The Department of Energy said PEEP is a project that will pay for itself through savings in terms of reduced energy consumption, reduced fuel importation, deferred power capacity addition and additional earnings due to trading of carbon reduction emissions. It said the government resources can very well be allocated to other priority programs.(Mindanao Examiner)

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