The Senate and the House of the Representatives are preparing to ratify a bicameral conference committee report endorsing to Malacañang the early implementation of the Energy Virtual One Stop Shop (EVOSS) bill, which aims to “drive down electricity costs and provide significant savings to power consumers.”
The EVOSS will reportedly be an online platform where potential power supply developers can “apply, monitor, and receive all the needed permits and applications, submit all documentary requirements, even pay for charges and fees.”
The Department of Energy (DOE) will be responsible in managing and maintaining the service.
Chairman of Senate committee on energy Senator WIn Gatchalian and Chairman of House committee on energy Rep. Lord Allan Velasco have agreed to adopt Senate Bill 1439 or “The Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop Act of 2017.”
The bill is on its way for the remedial legislation and will soon be passed to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing into law.
“Passing this measure is quite timely, especially when inflation continues to hover around 6 percent as of November. We are optimistic that this bill is poised to drive down electricity costs and provide significant savings to power consumers by modernizing and streamlining the permitting process behind power infrastructure projects,” Gatchalian said in a Business Mirror report.
“We are optimistic that this bill is poised to drive down electricity costs and provide significant savings to power consumers by modernizing and streamlining the permitting process behind power infrastructure projects,” he added.
To speed up the process, all concerned government agencies will be required to follow a strict timeline to approve or disapprove all pending applications. Failure to do so will result in the automatic approval of such application and potential administrative penalties against inefficient public officers, the senator explained.
“On the other hand, private entities—the system operator and market operator—who fail to act within the prescribed time frame will be slapped with a P100,000 fine per day of delay,” he was quoted as saying.
Passage of this law will also encourage foreign investors to enter the market that could promote competition in the Philippine energy generation industry, Gatchalian noted in the report.
Gatchalian added that eliminating the red tape in the permitting process “will remove a formidable barrier to entry that has often discouraged foreign firms from entering the generation market.”
Under Evoss, Gatchalian said “will result in a welcome bump in disposable income for the average Filipino family [as] we will be putting a lot of money back where it belongs—in the pockets of Filipino families struggling to pay their basic day-to-day expenses.”