A faster process for the approval of power projects in the country could save the Filipino consumers around P0.35 per kilowatt hour, according to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.
The newly signed Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) Law will serve as digital platform of pending approval processes on energy projects. It was principally authored by Senate Committee Chairman Gatchalian.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the measure last March 8, which will be “online system that allows the coordinated submission and synchronous processing of all required data and information.” It will also be a single portal for actions on applications of potential power projects.
“With this law, red tape in the energy sector will soon become a thing of the past as it promotes faster, simplified permitting process that would allow foreign and domestic investors with the capacity to build cutting-edge power plants to enter the market and stimulate competition in the Philippine energy generation industry,” Gatchalian was quoted in a Manila Bulletin report.
By having a smooth process, it could spur intense competition in the sector, which could result to the reduction of power rates for consumers.
“With EVOSS, we estimate that a decrease in generation costs could lead to reduction of consumer electricity prices by as much as P0.35 per kWh,” he added.
He explained that with a household consuming 200 kilowatt hours (kWh), the yearly savings could be around P840 and can be allocated to other necessities.
EVOSS states that the Department of Energy (DOE) is mandated to “operate and maintain an effective information technology infrastructure system,” that will aid the government process power project application in terms of permits and certifications.
The committee who would initially administer the EVOSS platform would be the Office of the President with the Energy Secretary as vice chairperson for two years.
Other concerned agencies would also be member of the said committee such as the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Also included is the chairpersons of Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP), as well as the executive director of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), and the head of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
The energy department is also ordered to initiate the process of investing in the needed hardware and software of the management of EVOSS.