Energy Virtual One Stop Shop bill gets Senate approval on second reading

Energy Virtual One Stop Shop bill gets Senate approval on second reading

The bill that seeks to eliminate the red tape in the permitting process of new power projects has been approved by the Senate on its second reading.

The Energy Virtual One Stop Shop (EVOSS) Act of 2017 or Senate Bill No. 1439 seeks to modernize and streamline the permitting process of power generation projects in the Philippines.

The said bill looks to establish a technology and operations management software platform for all government entities to promote a unified permitting system, said Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, the principal author of the bill.

He added that the EVOSS Act will prevent overlapping mandates in documentary submissions that is seen as one of the main factors contributing to the long application process.

“The permitting process to get a power plant off the ground takes as long as three and a half years. This legislation will eradicate the red tape in the process which impedes the increase of the country’s energy supply. Ultimately, the EVOSS Act is projected to drive down electricity costs and provide significant savings to electricity consumers,” Gatchalian said.

In removing the red tape in the permitting process, he said that this will allow the foreign investors that have the capacity to build power plants in entering the market and stimulate competition in the Philippine generation industry.

The competition will drive down generation costs and give significant savings to Filipino households, Gatchalian added.

Gatchalian said that the effects of the EVOSS act could reduce consumer electricity prices by as much as P1 per kilowatt hour (kwh), based on estimates.

“Essentially, the EVOSS Act will benefit working class Filipino families in the long run by reducing their monthly electricity bills, which will give them more money to pay for day-to-day living expenses such as food, shelter, medicine, and education,” the senator said.

The EVOSS act will improve the coordination between the entities and provide easier access to all information necessary to apply for new energy projects.

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