Improving the quality and availability of electricity in the Philippines will be a central discussion issue when the APEC Energy Working Group (EWG) convenes an industry workshop in Cebu on December 12-13.

Lead Shepherd of the APEC EWG, Mr. John Ryan, said the "Strengthening Operational Aspects of APEC Energy Reform" workshop will look at ways to achieve sustainable pricing, improve customer service, promote efficiency, increase investment in the electricity supply industry and improve the security and reliability of the supply of electricity in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Sustainable prices, better customer service and more reliable access to electricity is central to achieving tangible economic development," Mr. Ryan said.

Enhanced access to electricity not only brings immediate quality of life and health benefits, but also results in improved access to education and job growth.

Schools are able to expand their teaching capacities while local businesses are able to increase their production and so employ more staff.

At the APEC EWG meeting in Cebu more than 100 delegates from across the APEC region and beyond will discuss options for improving the delivery of electricity in the region but with particular focus on the Philippines.

Issues to be discussed include improving operational performance, future industry structure, attracting finance and investment, setting the appropriate legal framework and managing the reform process.

From this workshop we hope to develop a series of policy options and possibilities for the Philippines and other APEC economies to implement for energy sector reform.

A lineup of around ten international delegates will make presentations to the workshop include senior officials from the public and private sectors.

A representative from the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will address the workshop as will representatives from private sector energy generation companies.

The Secretary of the Philippines Department of energy, Vincent S Perez, will deliver the keynote address.

"Reform of the energy sector throughout our region is crucial if we are to meet APEC's long-term economic and community development goals."