BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Energy (DOE), as chair of the Energy Investment Coordinating Council (EICC), conducted a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on Energy Projects of National Significance (EPNS) with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) at the Hotel Elizabeth on 7 February 2019.
Head of the EICC Secretariat and DOE-Energy Policy and Planning Bureau, Director Patrick T. Aquino, led the discussions with key representatives from NCIP Regions 1,2,3, and the Cordillera Autonomous Region, as well as the Department of Trade and Industry – Board of Investments.
Updates on approved EPNS projects within Regions 1, 2 and CAR, along with status of applications for Certificates of Energy Projects of National Significance (CEPNS) within these areas were among the topics raised during the focus group discussion.
DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said, “We are working closely with the NCIP to ensure that the welfare of our indigenous brothers and sisters are upheld in our energy development agenda, especially when projects are situated within their ancestral domain.”
Established by virtue of Executive Order No. 30, the EICC was created to streamline the regulatory procedures of energy projects as part of the Ease of Doing Business Program of the Duterte Administration.
The Council is also responsible for the issuance of CEPNS, which fast tracks the issuance of permits and clearances required from relevant government agencies and instrumentalities for energy projects.
At present, there are 34 CEPNS applications, with eight approved energy projects in Regions 1, 2 and CAR.
“Energy projects of national significance help us accelerate in fulfilling our vision of a fully energized Philippines. A fully empowered nation will usher in long sought economic gains that would allow us to compete in the global arena,” concluded the Energy Chief.