Duterte leads new group to speed up permits for energy projects

Published July 6, 2021, 8:22 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is taking the lead in efforts to streamline the permitting process for power infrastructure projects in a bid to ensure their timely completion.

President Duterte delivers his remarks during the inauguration of LRT-2 East Extension Project in Antipolo City on July 1, 2021 (Malacañang)

Under Executive Order No. 143, Duterte created the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) Task Group (ETG) that will be chaired by the Office of the President.

The creation of the inter-agency group came after the EVOSS Steering Committee was dissolved last March 30, or two years since the effectivity of Republic Act No.11234 that established the EVOSS, an online platform for the synchronous processing of applications for energy infrastructure projects.

“It is imperative to sustain the momentum and continuity of the initiatives under RA No. 11234 relative to the streamlining of the permitting and licensing processes and requirements for energy projects towards the full establishment and operationalization of the EVOSS,” the President’s order read.

Under EO 143, the new task group will streamline the process and requirements of government agencies, local government units, and private entities involved in energy projects.

It must also ensure integration of the process flow of agencies or entities in the EVOSS, interoperability of existing systems, and establishment of online payment system, among others.

The Secretary of Department of Energy will serve as vice chairperson of the inter-agency group.

Members of the group are secretary of the Department of Agriculture, secretary of Department of Agrarian Reform, secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, secretary of Department of Information and Communications Technology, chairperson of the Energy Regulatory Commission, chairperson of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, executive director of the National Water Resources Board, president or chief executive officer (CEO) of market operator, president or CEO of system operator and transmission network provide, and representatives from power generation, transmission, and distribution sectors.

Other government agencies have been directed to provide assistance to the ETG. The private sector is likewise enjoined to participate in the meetings of the ETG when requested.

The order took effect immediately after it was signed by the President on July 2.