Ricardo Torres (L), Project Manager of UNDP, and Mylene Capungcol (R), Director of Renewable Energy Management Bureau of the Department of Energy and National Project Director of DREAMS discuss before the provincial council the accomplishments and further plans of the agency to develop the DREAMS project in Palawan. Photo screengrabbed from 44th Sangguniang Panlalawigan Facebook page
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The Department of Energy (DOE)’s electrification project for off-grid communities has completed the installation of at least two solar photovoltaic (PV) smart-grid systems that have been providing electricity to some 120 households in Aborlan and 112 households and five community facilities in Cagayancillo.

The accomplishment was included in the department’s report to the provincial government Tuesday on the DREAMS project, a program funded by the United Nations Development Programme that aims to provide electricity in off-grid municipalities.

Mylene Capungcol, director of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) of the DOE and National Project Director of DREAMS, together with Ricardo Torres, project manager, appeared before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session to present updates on the DREAMS project, which began in 2018 through a Memorandum of Agreement signed by the DOE, the provincial government of Palawan, and Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO).

DREAMS also provided capacity buildings in the municipalities of Balabac, Brooke’s Point, and San Vicente, to assist them in their livelihood and development of related projects.

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“DREAMS is closing out in January 2023, so we want to move faster to implement electrification projects as there are still a lot of sitios that do not have electric power,” Capungcol expressed.

They have expressed willingness to assist the province in developing a Local Renewable Energy Plan patterned to the government’s goal of low emissions, combating climate change, and energy security.

“Batay doon sa plano ng DOE, mahalaga na ang power na sinu-supply mo ay stable at para mangyari yun, hindi naman pwedeng isa lang ang titignan pupwede rin naman ang fossil fuel. Isa lang sa mga options ang renewable energy. Ang target ng PH government ay by 2030-2040 at least 35 to 40 percent ay galing sa renewable energy,” Torres said.

DOE DREAMS is funded by the United Nations Development Programme, with $5.2 million worth of projects and investments in the provinces of Palawan, Iloilo, Oriental Mindoro, and Lanao Del Sur. (with reports from Genn Magdayao)

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is a student-intern reporter of Palawan News and is currently taking up Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies at University of the Philippines Visayas. She covers special reports in tourism, business and other human interest stories. Her interests includes singing, painting, and volunteering in civic organizations like the Girl Scouts of the Philippines.