House energy committee approves natural gas bill


The House Committee on Energy has approved a bill that intends to set the regulatory framework for shipment and distribution of imported natural gas 

Based on a report by BusinessWorld, the committee approved the draft substitute bill replacing House Bill (HB) 3031 or the proposed Downstream Natural Gas Industry Development Act. 

House energy committee chairman and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo said the approval is subject for revision by a technical working group, which will craft the draft amendments to Sections 38, 39, and 40 of HB3031.

Section 38 mentions the natural gas share in the Philippine Energy Plan, while Section 39 refers to the provision on the off-take support and security, and Section 40 is about capacity and reserve markets provisions.

Arroyo added that the new bill will be up for discussion with other congressmen in the House plenary.

Once passed into law, the bill aims to develop the downstream portion of the natural gas sector to “mature industry status” to make a competitive gas market. 

HB3031’s explanatory note says the Philippines is still lacking a “clear, comprehensive, and integrated legislative framework” to sustain the natural gas sector’s development.

The original bill, filed by House Speaker and former House energy committee chairman Lord Allan Velasco and Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Wilter Palmer, intended to consolidate all related laws relating to the transmission, distribution, and supply of natural gas in the country.