The Department of Energy (DOE) is institutionalizing its “ease of doing business” task force so it can rid the department of thousands of project application backlogs that had already been gathering dusts since 2011.
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said he was prompted into establishing that body at the department following his discovery of un-acted project proposals and submissions that could go as far back as seven years ago.
The task force is headed by Energy Undersecretary Alexander Lopez and he will have Director Patrick Aquino and Investment Promotion Office Chief Lisa Go complementing his team.
“There are many business proposals pending since 2011, there are thousands of them… and there are a lot of modus operandi that supposedly ‘it’s for the signature of the secretary,’ but there are people at the DOE bureaus asking for money in exchange for project approvals,” the energy chief stressed.
Cusi admitted that he heard of complaints about some people at the department allegedly asking for bribes, so he wants application processes concentrated via this new one-stop shop body.“We’re doing the one-stop shop application process. I don’t want the investors to be going from department to department,” the energy chief explained.
He noted through this “ease of doing business platform” that will be enforced internally at the department, what he wants to see as outcome is “that no documents will be there lounging for a long time and waiting to be acted upon by various people.”
Cusi qualified under the current set-up, “a project application goes directly to different bureaus, but that is a grueling process and the waiting time for investors could take very long… we have to take note that these investors have lenders or prospective foreign partners waiting for progress of their proposed projects.”
With the newly established task force, the energy secretary emphasized that monitoring will be easier – like which cases had already been decided and which ones are still pending for evaluation and action.
Cusi said his mandate to the new team is “to make sure that ‘the ease of doing business’ is complied – I am pissed off with alibis that the paper is just there waiting for evaluation or processing.”
For the department’s backlogs to be fully expunged, Cusi said the task force can either cancel or recommend the approval of certain projects.
“But if they would have to terminate a project, they shall make sure that there’s a reason. And if a project can still be revived, I am instructing them to make sure that the process of approval is above board,” he emphasized.
At this stage, Cusi said the team is sorting out inventory of all pending applications – and then they will have to act on these according to priority or relevance; while his office will be monitoring progress of these project proposals.
Velasco, M. M. (December 3, 2018). Cusi sets up ‘ease of doing business’ task force to end project application backlogs. Manila Bulletin. Retrieved from https://business.mb.com.ph/2018/12/03/cusi-sets-up-ease-of-doing-business-task-force-to-end-project-application-backlogs/