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Government moves to boost Bangsamoro energy sector


The national government aims to boost the energy sector of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), with the signing by the Department of Energy (DOE) of a circular outlining standards for oil and coal operations in the region.

According to the DOE, it signed the circular of the Intergovernmental Energy Board on the joint award of oil service contracts (PSC) and coal operation contracts with the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (Menre) of the BARMM.

The agency added that the circular would attract foreign investment in BARMM and facilitate the growth of the energy sector.

“This is an important step towards progress in Mindanao and possibly the establishment of another capital of energy resources in the Philippines,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said in his speech.

According to the circular, a local or foreign company authorized to engage in oil exploration and development can apply for PSC. However, for coal contracts, the applicant must be a corporation or partnership with at least 60 percent Philippine-owned capital and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

An applicant can nominate an area of ​​interest for exploration and development “at any time,” the DOE said. Once the nominated areas have been published, interested companies may submit their application to the Menre for approval.

Lotilla has repeatedly said that Mindanao had great untapped energy potential, due to the excess power capacity of 800 megawatts that it could lend to the Visayas and Luzon.

Mindanao has relied on hydroelectric and coal-fired power plants, as well as barge or floating power installations that are easy to deploy during emergencies, to power homes for longer.

The energy chief noted that by tapping into Mindanao’s energy resources, the island group could “generate employment opportunities and foster sustainable development and ultimately improve the quality of life for its residents.”

Lotilla also told President Bongbong Marcos, who witnessed the signing ceremony, that both the DOE and BARMM were looking for ways to improve electrical infrastructure in the provinces.


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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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