BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Energy (DOE) is planning to put up a satellite office in Baguio City to cater to the numerous issues confronting the energy industry in the different parts of the Cordillera in preparation for the proposed establishment of its regional office in the future.
Reynaldo Ligamor, officer-in-charge of the DOE Luzon field office based in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan, said the DOE leadership has considered the proposal of Congress representatives from the Cordillera to initially establish a satellite office in the Cordillera while working out the put up of its permanent Cordillera regional office to immediately attend to issues related to the mandate of the energy department.
Earlier, the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera passed several resolutions requesting the DOE leadership to establish its regional office in the Cordillera so that it could immediately address the numerous issues and concerns being hurled against the department, specifically the excessive oil prices in the city compared to prices in the lowlands and the requirement for free, prior and informed consent for renewable energy developers from indigenous peoples impacted by their proposed projects, among others.
The ODE official said that the agency’s Luzon field office is supportive of the long overdue clamor of Cordillerans to establish a regional office in the Cordillera but it is best to start with a satellite office in the city so a division will oversee the agency’s affairs in the region while the establishment of its regional office will continue to be worked out with their officials.
Ligamor recognized the importance of a satellite office in any part of the region to ease transactions by officials and residents with their staff saving time, effort and resources in going to Urdaneta City, Pangasinan just to have their communications addressed.
The DOE is one of the national government agencies which has yet to establish its satellite or regional office in the Cordillera in compliance with Executive Order No. 220 creating the Cordillera Administrative Region and Administrative Order No. 136, series of 1987 providing for the establishment of regional offices of government agencies in the region.
Ligamor explained the agency is working out the initial operation of its satellite office in the city, the most feasible move to take this time as the full operation of a regional office will take time to consider because of the issues raised on the staffing pattern, the budget for its operation, among other major concerns that have to be dealt with accordingly by the central office.
He appealed for patience from the local officials of the region as it establishes its satellite office.
By Dexter A. See