New contracting policy for coal and oil projects

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The Department of Energy (DoE) has introduced a new policy scheme for awarding coal and oil exploration contracts in the country.

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Under the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program, prospective investors no longer need to wait for any announcement that a certain area is open for exploration. This policy will replace the Philippine Energy Contracting Round-6 (PECR-6).

Any potential player can identify the areas they intend to explore and submit the plan to the DoE. The DoE will then publish all the proposals, which will be subjected to a competitive selection process (CSP), as mandated by law, to ensure and maintain transparency.

During a budget briefing at the House of Representatives last week, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the new policy will accelerate the development of the country’s oil and coal resources.

Cusi noted the contracts under the PECR-5 have not yet been issued because of tax issues, saying the DoE can have the papers signed by President Rodrigo Duterte once the hurdles have been cleared.

Previously, the Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez implied the approval of PECR-5 contract were in the pipeline.

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