THE Department of Energy (DoE) said it released a draft circular outlining proposed amendments to the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the renewable energy (RE) law, which will clear the way for foreign investment in these two segments.
The circular set the eligibility rules for parties interested in exploring, developing, and using hydropower and ocean energy resources, opening up service contracts for the two segments to foreigners alongside the rest of the RE industry, where foreign ownership rules have already been liberalized.
According to the draft circular, an applicant may be “a Filipino and/or foreign-owned corporation or association which is authorized by its articles or deed of incorporation” to engage in the exploration, development, and utilization of hydropower and ocean energy resources.
In November, Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla signed a circular amending the IRR of the RE Act of 2008 to allow 100% foreign ownership in RE projects.
Foreign ownership of RE projects had previously been subject to the 40% limit specified in the Constitution.
The “appropriation of water direct from a natural source” had been reserved to “Filipino citizens or corporations or associations at least sixty percent (60%) of whose capital is owned by Filipinos.”
The draft circular requires members of joint venture or consortia to register as Philippine corporations under the Republic Act No. 11232 or the Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines.
Awarding of hydropower and ocean service contracts must be conducted via an open and competitive selection process. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera