DOE backs bill declaring energy projects of national significance
(The Philippine Star) - January 17, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) is pushing for a legislation that will declare energy-related facilities as projects of national significance to prevent a disruption in the supply of electricity and ease the burden of added costs to consumers.

There is a need for an updated land use classification which will include energy projects, DOE Energy Policy and Planning Bureau director Jesus T. Tamang said in an interview.

Currently, energy projects form part of industrial land use classification.

Under the proposed update in legislation, an area identified with potential resource or as potential site for energy will be isolated by local government units and classify it only for energy use.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the requirement in law. We hope we can have that one,” Tamang said.

Updating the land use classification will help right-of-way (ROW) issues in the energy industry moving forward.

In a recent interview, AC Energy Holdings Inc. president and CEO Eric Francia noted ROW issues are part of a broader infrastructure concern. It can be experienced in power projects, rail, roads and airports.

“The good news is, what government is trying to do is update regulations, laws of the country to make sure ROW acquisition is more expedient. It is done not at the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) level but at the Congress level,” he said.

As Congress is left with only a few months to pass laws, the land use classification for energy projects should be started at the LGU level, Tamang said.

“In the meantime, in the identification  of energy for major facilities and infrastructure, qualifying and identifying projects of national significance... is to be facilitated by LGUs,” he said.

Citing the ROW issues transmission lines and removal of the Pandacan oil depot in Manila, the DOE official said the costs incurred in these undertakings are shouldered by consumers.

ACIRC AS CONGRESS DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ENERGY ENERGY HOLDINGS INC ENERGY POLICY AND PLANNING BUREAU ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION ERIC FRANCIA JESUS T PANDACAN TAMANG
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