Gatchalian to file bill labeling power projects as projects of nat’l significance


A senator is looking to file a bill fast-tracking the permitting and licensing of critical power projects to meet the country’s growing energy demands.

Senate Committee on Energy chairman Sherwin Gatchalian said a bill labeling energy projects as projects of national significance will be filed in order to compel permit-giving agencies to work within a timeframe.

“A concrete example is permitting. [Under the bill, we will] give specific timeframe to cut the requirements of permits. So from day 1, we know the timeframe to get certain permits. This will put pressure LGUs (local government units) to move,” Gatchalian said.

The bill also includes putting up a one-stop shop for energy projects to avoid repetition in filing requirements.

The issue of long permitting and licensing process has long been an issue for power developers, who deal with several agencies that require the same permits.

“Permitting becomes redundant. This needs a legislative measure because we’re talking of multiple departments…So what we want is to really come up with a sort of one-stop shop so developers will only talk to one,” Gatchalian said.

However, Gatchalian said there will be no more incentives as there are already existing incentive-giving laws.

“In permitting alone, we can transform the power sector,” he said.



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