The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) held a meeting to formulate strategies regarding delays in securing permits for energy projects.
DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said this is one of the department’s efforts to ensure that energy projects will be ready to support the country’s goals for economic and infrastructure development.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 mandates all project developers to secure a permit from the NCIP as well as other clearances from the indigenous communities living close to where projects will be located.
“It is very important that we work on how we can promote our indigenous resources, and we hope that by forging a stronger working relationship with the NCIP, we will be able to address the issues causing delays in securing clearances from their office,” Cusi said in a statement to the press.
Cusi noted the importance of proper coordination among concerned government agencies, developers, and indigenous communities in the use and development of natural resources.
The DOE and NCIP agreed to the creation of Technical Working Group which will be responsible for streamlining of processes and creating a checklist for evaluating energy projects.
Aside from this effort, the DOE has also been observing the issuance of Executive Order 30, which mandates concerned agencies to act upon approvals of energy projects of national significance within a 30-day period.
Another legal measure is the Energy Virtual One Stop Shop Act or Republic Act 11234, which aims to fast-track the permitting process of energy projects.