In a landmark move to increase the power generation capacity and make the Philippines less reliant on imported fuels, the country’s Department of Energy (DOE) has recently approved 100% foreign ownership of renewable energy projects.
Before 2022 ended, the DOE issued amendments in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008, allowing foreign investors and companies to take part in the exploration, development, and utilization of renewable energy, with full ownership of the project. This particularly includes natural resources like solar, wind, biomass, and ocean or tidal energy.
The IRR amendment followed after the Department of Justice (DOJ) ruled that investments in the renewable or “green” energy sector are not subject to the Constitution’s foreign ownership restriction of 40%.
Previously, there was a 60 to 40 equity rule, whereby only 40% of businesses could be owned by foreign nationals, thus, limiting foreign investments in the sector.
With the release of the IRR, a large number of investors have already expressed interest in the country’s resources, according to DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla in a news report published by CNN Philippines.
(Sources: CNN Philippines; UNCTAD)