DOE eyeing revisions on foreign investment negative list

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The Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking to revise the foreign investment negative list to reflect the opening of the renewable energy sector to full foreign ownership. 

In a report by the Philippine Star, Energy secretary Raphael said that they are preparing the request to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for the revision of the foreign investment negative list “in order to clarify that renewable energy will not be subject to the 60:40 requirements.” 

Earlier, the DOE issued amendments to Section 19 of the implementing rules and regulations of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. 

Under the amendment, foreign citizens or foreign-owned entities can explore, develop, and utilize the country’s renewable energy sources like solar, wind, biomass, ocean, or tidal energy. 

Lotilla said that this is a case where they want to be able to attract foreign investments because the technological and financial requirements are enormous, “and as far as the ability to carry out the obligations under the service contracts, they will be of course, strictly monitored, and the rollout will take place as such.” 

The DOE noted that it has received strong interest from local and foreign investors for renewable energy development. 

For instance, the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive director Christopher Zimmer said that German investors consider doing business in the Philippines, particularly in the renewable energy sector. 

The amendments to the IRR of the RE law follow the opinion released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that states that renewable energy investments in the country are not subject to the Constitution’s 40% foreign ownership restriction.