Private sector investments in energy to power PH industrialization and development – NEDA

Affordable and reliable power provided by the private sector is essential to drive the country’s industrialization and development.

This message was underscored by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan during the SNAP Conversations 2024: Economic Outlook Forum hosted by the SN Aboitiz Power Group on Thursday, February 22.

In his discussion on the government’s infrastructure drive, the NEDA Secretary shared that the Marcos Administration is prioritizing the role of the energy sector in accelerating socioeconomic transformation, noting how the energy sector must be strengthened to meet the economy’s growing demands for power at affordable prices.

“We must ensure that our energy sector can cater to the increasing demand of our growing economy, or else risk discouraging investments in sectors or industries that produce high-quality employment, such as manufacturing,” said Balisacan.

The NEDA chief noted the various government initiatives currently underway aimed at enabling greater private-sector investment in the energy sector.

Such reforms seek to promote competition and reduce energy prices, address reliability issues in power supply, remove bureaucratic roadblocks that delay power projects, optimize the transition to cleaner renewable energy, and diversify the country’s energy portfolio to mitigate the country’s vulnerability to global energy price volatility.

In an exchange with SN Aboitiz Power Group’s Chief Operations Officer, Atty. Michael Hosillos, Balisacan said that the government is well aware of the need to coordinate efforts to expedite the implementation of critical infrastructure flagship projects or IFPs.

These game-changing and transformative projects, once identified, will benefit from the faster issuance of necessary permits and will be prioritized during the budget preparation process.

“At the end of the day, what we want is rapid, high, and inclusive growth – growth that is felt by every Filipino. Any growth that is not inclusive and will only further polarize our society even more, will not be sustainable; it is not likely going to get us far. What we need is to catch up with our neighbors, and so the effort of this Administration is to speed up the process of socioeconomic transformation so that we can eventually join our neighbors in the ASEAN in their level of prosperity,” concluded Balisacan.

Following the review of project portfolios by implementing agencies, the NEDA Board is set to meet next week to update the list of 198 IFPs under the Marcos Administration, with a total value of approximately PHP 8.79 trillion.