July 6, 2023
The Department of Energy and the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) signed the Intergovernmental Energy Board (IEB) Circular on the Joint Award of Petroleum Service Contracts (PSCs) and Coal Operating Contracts (COCs) in the BARMM today, 06 July 2023 at the Malacañang Palace.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The IEB Circular operationalizes the provision in Section 10, Article XIII of Republic Act No. 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region to jointly grant rights, privileges, and concessions for the exploration, development, and utilization of uranium and fossil fuels such as petroleum, natural gas, and coal within the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro.
The Circular aims to facilitate the growth of the energy sector and attract foreign investments in the region. Once implemented, these will kickstart the application process for PSCs and COCs in the BARMM.
The framework also outlines the requisite requirements, procedures, and standards for companies seeking to apply for and operate PSCs and COCs and ensure that exploration and development activities will adhere to stringent rules and regulations, and best practices.
For petroleum contracts, an applicant may be any local/foreign individual company or group of companies forming a joint venture/consortium, organized, or authorized for the purpose of engaging in petroleum exploration and development.
For coal contracts, an applicant must be a corporation or partnership with at least sixty percent (60%) Filipino-owned capital and duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or a cooperative organized and authorized for the purpose of engaging in coal exploration and development. Any applicant must also comply with Section 2-A of Commonwealth Act No. 108 or the Anti-Dummy Law, as well as the Foreign Investment Act.
We acknowledge the support of Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin and Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim as well as Secretary Amenah Pangandaman and Minister Mohagher Iqbal as co-chairs for the National and Bangsamoro Governments for taking the lead in advancing the development of the BARMM.
“The successful establishment of this IEB Circular holds immense potential. It will not only contribute to the energy security of the country but also unlock vast opportunities for economic growth in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region”, Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said.
The Secretary added that by leveraging its energy resources, the region will attract investments, generate employment opportunities, and foster sustainable development, and ultimately improve the quality of life of its residents. Overall, this significant progress represents a crucial step forward in ensuring the responsible utilization of energy resources and advancing the collective goals of both governments, the National and Bangsamoro Governments, towards a prosperous and sustainable future.
With the signed Joint Circular, an applicant may nominate an area of interest at any given time. Upon publication of the nominated/predetermined areas, interested parties may submit their application to the MENRE. ###