PASIG, Metro Manila — As part of the collaborative efforts between the National Government (NG) and Bangsamoro Government (BG), the Intergovernmental Energy Board (IEB) held its fourth meeting at the Astoria Plaza Hotel in Pasig, Metro Manila on March 3, 2023. The consultative meeting was co-chaired by Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Giovanni Carlo J. Bacordo and Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) Minister Akmad A. Brahim.

DOE Usec Bacordo stated the need for cooperation and diplomacy. He said, “Staying on the same page is crucial to our collaboration and shared goals. Today is where we continue to lay down the foundation of plans long in the making.”

Meanwhile, Minister Brahim emphasizes the BG, specifically MENRE, to address the biggest challenges in the Energy sector, which includes the Electric Power Industry, by providing stable and dependable electricity to its constituents. He also stressed that aside from the challenges that the BARMM was facing, there were also benefits and opportunities that this sector could bring, such as the Oil and Gas Industry, where the NG and BG are at the phase of finalizing the Draft Joint Guidelines for Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program and set to be formalized and approved during the upcoming 5th IEB meeting in June, to pursue the Exploration, Development, and Utilization of Fossil Fuels in the BARMM Region.

“It is with high hopes that success is inevitable as long as we work together on our goal and objectives as we move forward with our signs of progress and ideals we seek to address the issues lead behind from the past and yet to be developed – all for the betterment of the people and the communities who are our true intended beneficiaries,” he said.

The IEB discoursed the specific following agenda: (1) Confirmation of Co-Chairs and Joint Secretariat, TWG Heads under the current Administration; (2) Updates on Technical Working Group (Activities- from 3rd IEB Meeting 01 December 2021) onwards; and (3) Other matters such as Small Scale Coal Mining Industry in the BARMM and the next schedule of Board Meeting.

Highlights of the meeting includes the following such as 1) Fast tracking on the finalization of the Joint Guidelines of the PCECP/COC Joint Circular and the implementation of Section 2(n) of the IEB TOR; 2) Sharing of Revenues as prescribed in draft Joint Circular; 3) Delineation of Bangsamoro territorial Jurisdiction and Zone of cooperation particularly the Extent of Bangsamoro territorial waters recommending that the NAMRIA and DENR to be part of the Joint Body of Zone of Cooperation (JBZC)- TWG; 4) Issues on LASURECO and MAGELCO on the Implementation of WESM in Mindanao will likewise conduct a high-level discussion between the DOE, NEA, PSALM, and the BG; and 5) Guidelines on the Process Flow on assessment of CSC applications which is beneficial for the development of the power sector in the Bangsamoro region.

To build a strong and dependable government, the Bangsamoro Government will continue to seek solutions to energy-related problems.