June 2, 2023

Department of Energy Sec. Alfonso G. Cusi met with National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Chairperson Allen A. Capuyan to discuss the issues involving delays in securing permits for energy projects.
Cusi said this is in line with the mechanisms being put in place by the DOE to ensure that energy projects will come in on time, in support of the country’s goals for economic and infrastructure development.
Under Republic Act 8371, or the The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997, all project developers are required to secure from the NCIP Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) and other clearances from the indigenous communities inhabiting the area where the project will be situated.
“It is very important that we work on how we can promote our indigenous resources, and we hope that by forging a stronger working relationship with the NCIP, we will be able to address the issues causing delays in securing clearances from their office,” Cusi said.
During the meeting, Cusi also emphasized the importance of proper coordination among concerned government agencies, project proponents and indigenous communities in the utilization and development of natural resources.
The DOE and NCIP agreed to establish a technical working group for the close coordination and streamlining of processes, such as drafting a checklist/template in evaluating energy projects.
Before the meeting, the DOE has been striving to establish a more rationalized business environment for the energy sector.
With this goal, the DOE has initiated efforts that led in the issuance of Executive Order 30 that declares big-ticket energy projects to be of national significance and giving these projects a processing time of 30 days.
Cusi is also the vice chairperson of the Steering Committee for the Energy Virtual One-stop Shop Act or RA 11234, which streamlines the permitting process of energy projects. – DOE release