The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) have signed a deal to accelerate the development of regional economic zones (ecozones) in the country.
“The MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) is an initiative consistent with the long-term economic vision of President Rodrigo Duterte known as ‘Ambisyon 2040’ and complements his 10-point socio-economic agenda,” DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.
“With the MOU in place, the country can expect the flow of critical investment which in the long-run creates more job opportunities and spurs rural development,” he added.
DOE will develop energy policies under the deal that will “facilitate the reduction of the cost of doing business in the country, including the ecozones.”
The DOE chief added that energy efficiency programs – like the Energy Management Systems – will be given importance in helping the locator companies to become more efficient in using energy resources.
“This will result in lower power costs to sustain the companies’ competitiveness, while also encouraging the establishment of more energy efficient ecozones in the country,” Cusi said.
He also emphasized the importance of policies that would streamline the permitting processes for energy projects, to ensure stable and reliable supply of energy to drive the economic activities in the ecozones.
According to the 2016 data of the International Energy Consultants (IEC), the Philippine electricity rate – specifically the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) – is the third highest in Asia, fourth in Asia Pacific and 16th worldwide.