Declaring power projects as projects of national significance is critical in boosting the country’s energy supply beyond 2019 and in connecting the Visayas and Mindanao grids, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.
The DOE is seeking Malacañang’s intervention to release an executive order (EO) tagging critical energy projects as a priority to speed up permitting and realization.
“This is so that we can realize our objective of having sufficient power supply. We need to make power projects as projects of national significance,” Cusi said.
A proposed EO was submitted to the Executive Secretary’s office for approval, DOE undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said.
“(The EO draft) is with the Executive Secretary’s office. The Executive Secretary is the one we are following up with to call on the other agencies involved so that we can already have a discussion on the executive order,” he said.
“As soon as we get the EO that will expedite things because we’re looking at requirements 2019 and beyond. We’re doing that parallel to Ambisyon 2040,” Cusi said.
The “critical projects” include the Visayas-Mindanao grid interconnection project, and power plant projects beyond 2019.
“We need the EO to realize that. It’s been a long-delayed project the security of power through power sharing has yet to be realized. We want to make sure that it will not go beyond 2020 so we will include it in the list of power projects of national significance,” the secretary said.
Earlier, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) found a viable location to connect the Visayas and Mindanao grid along the western seaboard from Cebu to Dipolog.
In October, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said that he will file a bill that would fast-track the permitting and license of critical power projects to meet the country’s growing energy demands.