By Myrna M. Velasco
ABU DHABI, UAE –The Philippines skidded to a low 94th ranking in the global energy index and was also toppled from number one rank in environment sustainability amid the nation’s decrepit infrastructure, penury of energy access in terms of service and affordability as well as over-reliance on fossil fuel resources.
The Philippines ranking had gone more than 20 points lower – from the 70th place in 2017, and is also nowhere in the top 10 ranking on environmental sustainability from previously number one – which was the index that Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi had persistently used to defend the Duterte administration’s technology-neutral approach in the country’s energy planning.
From being previously at the top spot on environmental sustainability, the Philippines plummeted to the 68th place on this sphere, while it even plunged lower to 102nd place in energy equity and number 48 in energy security ranking.
Environmental sustainability measures the carbon footprints of energy markets of every country that was surveyed, while energy equity refers to access as well as affordability of energy commodity being provided to consumers.
Energy security, on the other hand, delves with sufficiency of supply and availability of resources indigenous to an energy market instead of just relying on importation of fuels.
In the World Energy Council (WEC) Trilemma Index of 128 countries that was unveiled in the just-concluded WEC Congress, it was noted that the Philippines ranks lowest in the totem pole among all the more established countries in the Southeast Asian region, beating only Cambodia and Myanmar in the ranking.
The other ASEAN countries’ ranking had been 43rd place for Singapore, 51st spot for Malaysia, 56th place for Brunei Darussalam, 68th for Thailand; 69th place for Indonesia; and 91st place for Vietnam.
Myanmar and Cambodia were at 104th and 105th places, but WEC rated them “to have demonstrated greatest overall improvements,” with 30 percent to 40 percent rise from their previous ranking – indicating then that it will not be surprising if they will go notches ahead in the future ranking of energy markets.
The WEC trilemma index is a guide for energy markets all over the world as to how they have been performing in their provision of energy services and access to their people – employing the three indices as guideposts in achieving overall energy sustainability in their planning as well as in concretizing infrastructure investments.