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TO ADDRESS LOOMING POWER CRISIS

Gov’t planning to next open renewable energy sector to foreigners

/ 05:16 AM June 30, 2022

The government is planning to open the renewable energy (RE) sector to foreign investors, according to state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

“In the future, we also intend to liberalize more sectors like renewable and inexhaustible energy sources such as wind, tidal, solar to help address the looming power crisis and climate change concerns,” outgoing Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and Neda chief Karl Kendrick Chua said in a statement.

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Last Monday, Chua urged the next administration to pursue policies such as liberalizing and shifting to RE sources, tapping electric vehicles for greener transport, as well as imposing a tax on single-use plastics, especially water bottles, to make climate change response more in line with the government’s priorities.

Citing recent pronouncements from incoming Neda Director General Arsenio Balisacan, officials had said that climate change adaptation was expected to form part of the 2023-2028 Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the incoming Marcos Jr. administration’s medium-term socioeconomic blueprint.

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Chua thanked President Duterte for finally issuing last Monday Executive Order No. 175, or the 12th regular foreign investment negative list (RFINL), which had to take a back seat amid the government’s COVID-19 focus.

“The revised list is aligned with the recently passed amendments to the Public Service Act, Retail Trade Liberalization Act and Foreign Investments Act. It is also consistent with the policy to ease restrictions on foreign participation,” Chua said.

“The 12th RFINL reflects the full foreign ownership liberalization for telecommunications, domestic shipping, railways and subways, and air transport as provided under the amendments to the Public Service Act. The revised list also incorporates the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act that provides for a uniform minimum paid-up capital of $500,000 (P25 million) from as much as $2.5-7.5 million for nonluxury foreign retailers,” Chua said.

—Ben O. de Vera

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