DOE: RCEP to significantly impact on PH energy sector

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The Department of Energy (DOE) is optimistic that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement will significantly enhance the energy sector in the Philippines.

According to Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla, the RCEP Agreement is reflective of the country’s “offensive interest to progressively liberalize trade and create a competitive investment environment in the region for the energy sector.”

He said the agreement provides the energy sector with opportunities for expanded market access and establishes clear and stable rules on trade in energy goods and services, as well as investments among the participating countries.

Lotilla added that increased energy-related trade in services would enhance the business climate of the energy sector in the country and support the DOE’s drive to explore, develop, and utilize the country’s native energy resources as it transitions to a low-carbon future.

The DOE has endorsed the implementation of the RCEP agreement and has welcomed the approval of the executive order by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) led by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., which enforces the tariff commitments under the agreement.

The trade agreement will commence after 60 days since the Philippines presented its instrument of ratification to the secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on April 3.

The DOE is aligned with the Philippine government’s assurance that the RCEP Agreement will not negatively affect the country’s energy supply chain. 

Instead, it will promote and stimulate trade and investments in the country that aims to provide “affordable, reliable, resilient, secure, clean, sustainable, climate-centered, and accessible energy.”

The DOE will evaluate international agreements on investments, energy security, and technology access. 

Lotilla emphasized that the energy sector requires significant capital, where Filipino capital “may not be sufficient.” 

He mentioned that advanced technologies are available in developed RCEP partner countries, and their services could enhance technology transfer to local companies and the DOE. 

Furthermore, international energy cooperation is essential in achieving greater energy self-sufficiency, security, and sustainability through collaborative activities with other countries.

“These efforts are geared towards ensuring the country has enough energy supply to power Filipino households and communities. The DOE remains at the forefront in supporting President Marcos Jr. on this undertaking,” the department said.