DoF’s Dominguez backs gov’t energy policy pivot to green sources

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said he supports the government’s recent policy shift favoring more sustainable and “green” energy sources.

“The ongoing pandemic has forced us to rethink our way of economic life, which makes this an opportune moment to intensify our action on the climate crisis,” Mr. Dominguez said in his speech at the 7th Asia Pacific Adaptation Network webinar Thursday.

“The Philippines is turning the contagion into an opportunity to begin building sustainable and safer cities. We aim to shift our investments to clean energy resources and green technologies,” he said.

The Energy department earlier this week imposed a moratorium on new coal-fired power projects and allowed foreign investors to take 100% ownership of geothermal projects.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said the shift will facilitate more investment in sustainable power production and make the power mix flexible.

The department is currently reviewing its Philippine Energy Plan for the next two decades.

As of August, there were 3,436 megawatts (MW) of planned coal-fired power projects in Luzon, 135 MW in the Visayas, and 420 MW in Mindanao.

The moratorium on new projects will not affect those that have been endorsed, the department said.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte last year said the government will press on with developing renewable energy to diversify the power mix.

Mr. Dominguez said the Philippines is highly exposed to natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes, making it the ninth most disaster-prone country in the world, according to the 2020 World Risk Index.

Mr. Dominguez said the government is also ramping up its capacity to respond to and reduce the risks of future disasters to mitigate their impact on the economy. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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