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Survey: 9 in 10 Filipinos want green energy

/ 07:08 AM August 26, 2018

COAL PROTEST Environmental activists rally in June in front of the offices of Japanese firms Mitsui and Mitsubishi in Makati City to demand that they stop funding more coal plants in the Philippines and elsewhere. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Nearly 9 in 10 Filipinos prefer renewable energy over coal and fossil-fuel-based electricity, and almost the same number wanted power distributors other than what are currently operating, according to a recent Pulse Asia survey.

Conducted in June, the survey results showed that 60 percent were unhappy over current power rates.

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The highest dissatisfaction rate was in Metro Manila, where power distribution is controlled by Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), and where 84 percent of respondents said they felt unhappy over current rates of electricity.

Urban sentiment

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Dr. Ana Tabunda of Pulse Asia, who presented the results in a recent press briefing, said while the overall sentiment across the country was dissatisfaction, a large majority of those who were displeased were recorded in urban areas.

The survey was conducted from June 15 to 21, a period when electricity rates had dipped. It surveyed around 1,800 respondents, with a nationwide error margin of plus or minus 2.3.

An overwhelming majority of respondents, or 82 percent, were in favor of having other options for their electric service provider or utility.

At least 89 percent said they preferred an increase in the use of renewable sources of electricity.

The majority sentiment was echoed across all geographical areas with 88 percent in Metro Manila in favor of an electric service provider other than the existing one, Meralco, followed by 84 percent in the Visayas, 83 percent in Mindanao and 78 percent in the rest of Luzon.

Validation

The Power for People Coalition, a group lobbying for clean, safe and affordable energy, said the survey results validated the campaign of many civil society groups for a shift in energy usage.

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“This should bring a clear message to policymakers and decision-makers on what to do with energy use and electricity in the country,” said Gerry Arances, executive director of the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development.

P12 per kWh

Electricity rates in Metro Manila, where Meralco enjoys control of power distribution, are now at P12 per kilowatt-hour.

Rates are higher in Iloilo City, which reach up to P20 per kWh.

By region, 94 percent of respondents in Davao said they were in favor of having a new electric service provider or utility, while it was 92 percent in Mimaropa and 89 percent in both Caraga and Bicol regions.

By socioeconomic class, support for a new electric service provider was 82 percent among Class D, 81 percent among Classes ABC and 79 percent among Class E. —WITH A REPORT FROM INQUIRER RESEARCH

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