The House of Representatives passed the second reading of the Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Industry (PDNGI) Development Act or House Bill 8456, which is tagged as a legislative priority of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.
House Committee on Energy chair and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco stated that the primary objective of the priority legislation is “to promote the role of natural gas as a safe, environment-friendly, efficient and cost-effective source of energy.”
Velasco emphasized that the measure would be vital for grid security, especially with the rise of intermittent renewable energy sources, by creating favorable conditions for the establishment of the PDNGI.
He highlighted the absence of “a clear, comprehensive and integrated” legislative framework in the Philippines, which is essential for facilitating the rapid advancement of the nation’s natural gas industry.
“The lack of such clear policies is detrimental to the thrust of the Department of Energy to attract foreign investors to invest in our natural gas potentials or importation or transmission of the same,” he stated.
He noted that the bill would facilitate the progress of the Philippines as a prominent hub for liquefied natural gas trading and transshipment in the Asia-Pacific region.
The legislation requires the Department of Energy to take the lead in overseeing and monitoring the development of the PDNGI, as well as regulating the construction and operation of natural gas pipelines and associated facilities for the transmission, distribution, and supply of natural gas.
Meanwhile, the Energy Regulatory Commission will have the exclusive regulatory mandate to set the rates and other relevant terms and conditions for the transmission, distribution, regasification, and supply of natural gas.