Duterte urges DOE to approve energy investments with new economic reform

CG: Duterte energy policy to keep rates down as it helps spur development

President Duterte is spearheading the Philippines’ energy sector to uplift the economy as he changed the approval system of incoming power investments from three years to a 30-day time frame.

“The shift was meant to hasten the expansion of the nation’s power capacity to meet growing demand,“ Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said, who spoke with US-based network CNBC on Tuesday.

Cusi said that the need to complete their capacity fast has become an urgent concern to complement the 30-day procedure for investors to implement their projects.

The so-called projects are collectively known as the Energy Projects of National Significance (EPNS) and will streamline power generation to transmission and other related ventures, including those required to maintain grid stability and security.

Along with this development, Duterte will also appoint a representative from the DOE to manage the Energy Investment Coordinating Council, a new inter-agency that will be responsible for running and simplifying the approval process especially those of big-ticket projects.

However, applications submitted but missed the month-long process, Cusi said, will still be considered approved.

These protocols are under the Executive Order (EO) 30, which Duterte signed on June 28, linking power investors to coordinate with the national government’s efforts for the development of the energy industry in the country.

Cusi added that the country is adopting a balance in the country’s energy mix that includes renewable energy sources like geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind energy.

“We (have not placed) any preference on any technology because we need to build up our capacity and we have to do it fast,” he said.

Photo by Jansen Romero © Manila Bulletin