DOE, NCIP tackle hurdles in pursuing energy projects
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - January 18, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) are working together to address hurdles on implementing energy projects.

DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi met with NCIP chairperson Allen Capuyan to discuss the issues involving delays in securing permits for energy projects.

Cusi said this is in line with the measures being put in place by the DOE to ensure that energy projects will develop in time in on time in support of the country’s goals for economic and infrastructure development.

Under Republic Act 8371 or the “The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997,” all project developers are required to secure from Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) and other clearances from the indigenous communities inhabiting the area where the project will be situated.

“It is very important that we work on how we can promote our indigenous resources, and we hope that by forging a stronger working relationship with the NCIP, we will be able to address the issues causing delays in securing clearances from their office,” Cusi said.

During the meeting, Cusi emphasized the importance of proper coordination among concerned government agencies, project proponents and indigenous communities in the utilization and development of natural resources.

The DOE and NCIP agreed to establish a technical working group (TWG) for the close coordination and streamlining of processes, such as drafting a checklist/template in evaluating energy projects.

Prior to the meeting, the DOE has been striving to establish a more rationalized business environment for the energy sector.

DOE has initiated the issuance of Executive Order 30, which declares big-ticket energy projects to be of national significance, and giving these projects a processing time of 30 days.

Cusi is also the vice-chairperson of the Steering Committee for the Energy Virtual One Stop Shop Act or Republic Act 11234, which streamlines the permitting process of energy projects. The DOE likewise serves as the committee’s secretariat

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