Gatchalian set to file bill to allow private sector energy experts to work in govt

win gatchalian 3

Former Senate Committee on Energy Chair Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian is set to file a bill that would allow energy experts from the private sector to work in the government, especially in the Department of Energy (DOE). 

The statement comes in the wake of Raphael Lotilla’s nomination as DOE secretary “pending clarification of his employment status.” 

Lotilla is currently an independent director of Aboitiz Power Corporation and ACE ENEXOR, Inc. Gatchalian believes that Lotilla is qualified for the DOE chief post given that he does not have any direct management responsibility in the two companies. 

Under the Republic Act. No 7638 or the Department of Energy Act of 1992, “No officer, external auditor, accountant, or legal counsel of any private company or enterprise primarily engaged in the energy industry shall be eligible for appointment as Secretary within two (2) years from his retirement, resignation, or separation therefrom.” 

Gatchalian said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel that the provision puts the government at a disadvantage by barring it from tapping experts from the private energy sector.

The Senator assured that his proposed measures would be “balanced” as the purpose of RA 7638 is to prohibit conflict and undue advantage. 

Lotilla first became the Energy Secretary under former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from March 2005 to 2007.

Before joining the DOE, Lotilla served as the president and CEO of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), as well as the deputy director-general of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).