ADVISORY PANEL. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Raphael Lotilla announces that the agency has formed a law and energy advisory panel that will iron out policies in the country's energy sector. Lotilla made the announcement on Thursday (Aug. 25, 2022). (Screenshot during the DOE virtual press conference)

MANILA – Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Raphael Lotilla announced Thursday that the agency has formed a law and energy advisory panel that will address the challenges and bottlenecks in the regulatory framework in the energy sector.
 
In a virtual press conference, Lotilla said DOE has pooled senior legal advisers, which include retired Chief Justices Artemio Panganiban and Reynato Puno who will serve as private citizens and will not assume any public office.
 
Legal advisors from the private sector are also joining the advisory group, he added.
 
“The functions of the law and energy advisory panel include advising the department on various energy-related reform initiatives and legal matters, including promotion of indigenous as well as low-carbon sources,” the DOE chief said.
 
Lotilla said for the initial discussions of the panel, the legal advisors will tackle legal matters in the upstream oil and gas sector in general and the Malampaya-Camago project.
 
“The advisory panel will also advise the DOE on the objectives, content, and overall substance of the energy sector’s legislative agenda that covered alternative and new technology,” he added.
 
Earlier, Lotilla said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. directed the agency to ensure a certain, stable, and clear regulatory framework to address uncertainties in the legal environment for investments in the upstream industry and also to create a better investment climate.
 
“In order to attract sufficient investment for that, we need to be able to clearly indicate what are the policies of the government… These are the things that have motivated the department, particularly myself, to benefit from the wisdom and experience of our senior legal advisers. Because whatever we are going to propose to the President and Congress will have fundamental effects on the lives of our people not only (in) the present but also in future generations,” he said. (PNA)