Duterte signs EO prioritizing energy projects of nat’l significance

DOE working to restore power in areas affected by “Vinta”

With the goal to prioritize energy projects of national significance, President Rodrigo Duterte signed an Executive Order (EO) creating the Energy Investment Coordinating Council that will streamline the process of major energy projects in the country.

The President signed EO 30 on June 28 creating the DOE-led EICC, which will “establish a simplified approval process, and harmonize the relevant rules and regulations of all government agencies involved in obtaining permits and regulatory approvals.”

“The council will guide the various agencies in speeding up their regulatory processes for the fast realization of energy projects to be tagged as ‘Energy Projects of National Significance’ under the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP)’,” DOE Chief Alfonso Cusi said.

To qualify under the EPNS, the project must have a capital investment of at least P3.5 billion and possess significant contributions to economic development and a positive environmental impact.

“The PEP sets the vision for our energy affairs in order to deliver the objectives of Dutertenomics, particularly in identifying energy projects that need to be built and constructed on schedule,” he added.

The EO requires government agencies to act upon applications within 30 days after the submission of requirements. The agency is also required to explain why it denied an application, and automatically approve an application if it fails to meet the 30-day deadline.

“The longer the processing of energy projects gets, the more expensive it becomes, which could also impact on the delivery of energy services and their affordability,” Cusi said.

“Given that energy investors have complete requirements, cutting down the period of issuance of permits will certainly speed up the realization of energy projects,” he added.