Sen. Gatchalian thanks PE2 for active partnership in aid of EE legislation
PASAY CITY, Senate of the Philippines, 28 April 2022 – Senator Sherwin “Win” T. Gatchalian, who served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy through the 17th and 18th Congresses, thanked the Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance (PE2) for its active partnership with his committee in aid of legislation, particularly for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) Bill, which was passed into law as Republic Act No. 11285 during the term of the 17th Congress.
PE2 officers Alexander Ablaza, Ruth Yu-Owen and Theresa Acedillo Lapuz, trustee Ledicia T. Dela Cruz and other member representatives joined spokespersons from electric cooperatives and energy sector stakeholders in a consultative meeting with Sen. Gatchalian to determine if there are pressing issues and concerns facing the energy efficiency (EE) and other energy sectors.
Sen. Gatchalian, as principal author of RA 11285, said that he has always welcomed PE2's input in aid of energy efficiency legislation and in monitoring the enforcement of the EE&C Act. “I thank PE2 for having been an active partner in his initiatives especially in helping shape the EE&C Act,” declared the incumbent chairman of the Senate energy committee.
In response to the Senator, PE2 president Alexander Ablaza said, “[Sen. Gatchalian] understood that EE is a distinct investment asset class that needs capital flows from local and foreign investors, and that EE is a primary resource and infrastructure project type.”
Ablaza recommended that the Joint Congressional Energy Commission (JCEC) in the 19th Congress will have to follow-through on certain enforcement issues relating to the EE&C Act, specifically: (a) What can be done to protect the longer-term (10-25 year) investment windows of EE portfolio windows vis-a-vis the 3-year SIPP review cycles of the CREATE law?; and, (b) Will the Inter-Agency EE&C Committee (IAEECC)'s policy directions be sufficient to enable innovative procurement, contracting and financing modalities for EE projects in the private sector? Or will follow-through legislation be required to remove existing policy barriers, particularly the limitations of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, the Build-Operate-Transfer law or the Joint Venture guidelines of the National Economic Development Authority?
PE2 vice president for external affairs Theresa Acedillo-Lapuz also asked Sen. Gatchalian on what he foresees will happen to Malampaya and our natural gas industry as she believes a bill on midstream natural gas was recently filed. Sen. Gatchalian said, “Because of the situation with the Malampaya, there is indeed a need to explore more possible options and one of them is to import [natural gas] but the price that we will have to shoulder will be another burden.” He also cited the Ukraine crisis as an example of why energy cost will spike.
Earlier in the meeting, Sen. Gatchalian summarized the 11 energy laws that were passed under his watch:
- RA 11039 Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund Act
- RA 11234 Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop Act
- RA 11285 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act
- RA 11361 Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act
- RA 11371 Murang Kuryente Act
- RA 11552 Extension of Lifeline Rate
- RA 11571 Joint Congressional Energy Commission Enhancement Act
- RA 11572 Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute Act
- RA 11592 LPG Industry Regulation Act
- RA 11646 Microgrid Systems Act
- RA 11697 Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act
The Senator assured the meeting attendees that he will make sure that politics will not play a role in the renewal of franchise of utilities and that he will use fairness in determining renewal of franchises.