Dominguez pitches solar power plant in New Clark City
The head of the Duterte administration’s economic team has sought possible assistance from an arm of the Washington-based World Bank Group for a solar power plant in the soon-to-rise New Clark City.
In a statement Thursday, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III recently met with top officials of the International Finance Corp. (IFC), led by its chief executive Philippe Le Houérou.
During the meeting, Le Houérou “briefly discussed the World Bank’s Scaling Solar program, which is a one-stop shop of services offered by the institution that aims to create viable markets for solar power through privately funded grid-connected solar projects,” the DOF said.
This program piqued Dominguez’s interest, such that the Finance chief “broached the possibility of installing a solar power plant in New Clark City in Pampanga” to IFC officials, the DOF added.
Dominguez earlier said the Duterte administration wanted to make Clark the “next big metropolis” with several big-ticket infrastructure projects seen bolstering economic activity in the former US military base.
The Finance chief had said Clark was poised to become the growth driver in central and northern Luzon.
Besides the solar energy facility proposal, Dominguez and IFC officials also discussed the need to liberalize regulations on financial technologies or “FinTech” in the Philippines to achieve the government’s financial inclusion goal.
Citing that FinTech in the country was just a “seed starting to grow,” Dominguez said: “Let’s not choke it with regulations. Let them grow, make mistakes. Then we learn how to regulate them.”
Dominguez also sought assistance from the IFC to address the threat to jobs from the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” as workers in the information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry face more intense competition from disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics.
“Our threat is not really from India, but from the rapid changes in technology,” Dominguez said, referring to the domestic IT-BPO sector, which employs about 1.2 million Filipinos and earns $30 billion yearly, the second biggest in the world after the subcontinent./lzb
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