By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Despite the suspension of work at the House of Representatives on Monday, the House Committee on Energy was still able to approve the substitute bill that will enhance the efficient use of energy by granting incentives to energy efficiency and conservation projects.
The House panel passed the draft substitute bill on the energy efficiency and conservation (EEC) in conjunction with House Bill 6642, which was authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte.
It was 1-CARE partylist Rep. Carlos Roman Uybarreta, one of the authors of the measure, who moved for the approval of the proposed Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act with amendments.
“This is one of the measures being pushed by this committee. Sa ASEAN countries, tayo na lang ang walang Energy Efficiency Law. We want this bill passed. We want have our own Energy Efficiency Law by year-end,” Uybaretta said.
Following the concerns raised by the Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance (PE2), Uybaretta proposed the inclusion of Section 39 of Executive Order 226, otherwise known as the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987 and the zero percent value-added tax rate on the selling price, remuneration or consideration received by a project proponent for the Energy Efficiency Project , in the substitute bill.
PE2 president Alexander Ablaza asked the panel to consider granting the following incentives to a proponent, whether Filipino or up to 100-percent foreign-owned, of an Energy Efficiency Project: income tax holiday, zero-percent value-added tax rate, and tax and duty exemption on imported capital equipment.
“The fiscal incentives granted under this provision shall be applicable to all Energy Efficiency Projects duly endorsed by the DOE (Department of Energy),” he said.
He proposed that the fiscal incentives shall be made available to all proponents of duly certified Energy Efficiency Projects for a period of 15 years from the passage of the proposed Act. “At the end of such period, the Fiscal Incentives Review Board may suspend or cancel the grant of such incentives upon a joint recommendation of the DOE and the BOI (Board of Investments) that the incentives are no longer required in order to ensure the financial viability of Energy Efficiency Investments,” Ablaza said.