New rules to be released for energy project applications

THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DOE) said it will release next month its guidelines for the implementation of an executive order streamlining the application processes for energy stakeholders.

This after President Rodrigo Duterte released earlier this year an executive order that would require regulatory agencies to respond within 30 days to the application of energy players.

Mario Marasigan, officer in charge of the Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, said in an interview that there was a need to harmonize the policies across various agencies so that the requirements can be effectively implemented.

Marasigan said that the energy sector just needed to check if the application was part of a larger energy framework currently being set up by the Duterte administration.

On the part of the DOE, the application needs to be part of the Philippine Energy Plan.

Other considerations are whether certain investments have a certain amount or its effects to the environment.

According to the official, the guidelines will be released in November by the Energy Policy and Planning Bureau.

Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a statement that the EO would prioritize “energy projects of national significance,” meaning these are part of a larger Philippine Energy Plan.

Cusi added that the EO also spells out a presumption of prior approvals, which already assumes that all the other requirements from other agencies are already done.

Duterte’s EO No. 30 created an Energy Investment Coordinating Council (EICC) to streamline regulatory procedures affecting energy projects.

In previous interviews, energy stakeholders lamented that the time spent for regulatory approvals took years, even decades.

This led to a delay in the improvements in the energy sector.

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