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RCEP to support PH in pursuing energy plan: DOE executive

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RCEP will assist the Philippines in achieving its long-term strategy for energy security while helping to lessen the effects of climate change, according to a senior energy official on Tuesday.

During the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ hearing on the RCEP, Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella stated, “We are using this agreement to pursue the Philippine Energy Plan, which works towards energy security.”

The DOE is laying the groundwork for the transition to a clean energy future under the Philippine Energy Plan 2020-2040 by adopting policies that will increase investments in renewable energy, institutionalize energy efficiency and conservation programs, and encourage the usage of clean energy.

According to Fuentebella, signing the regional free trade agreement (FTA) will enable the nation to draw in more capital-intensive and technology-transfer-intensive energy investments.

The Department of Energy thinks that access to technology, investments, and energy security are inevitable. We agreed to this deal because, among other things, we need investments. Our opinion is that the energy sector requires a lot of capital, and Filipino capital might not be enough,” he said.

Having an FTA with established nations with superior technological capabilities in the energy industry, such as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, he continued, might improve technology transfer to the local competitors. These nations are among the 15 countries that signed the RCEP.

The DOE official claimed that by discovering and exploiting the nation’s indigenous energy sources, their technologies will assist the Philippines in attaining its clean energy ambitions.

In order to pursue cooperative projects with other nations and achieve our aim of self-sufficiency, energy security, and sustainability, Fuentebella noted that “international energy cooperation is considered as crucial.”

Only the Philippines, a signatory to the RCEP, has not yet approved the FTA.

Some industries, particularly the agricultural sector, have voiced their concerns about potential harmful impacts of the regional accord on local participants, and the Senate is still hearing their arguments.

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