The Philippines has renewed energy ties with Japan, Indonesia and other ASEAN neighbors as Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi held bilateral meetings with officials of Japan’s Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) and the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) at the 37th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM37) in Bangkok, Thailand from 2 to 6 September 2019.
“AMEM37 enabled us to engage METI and MEMR on various mutual areas of interest, including energy investment opportunities and joint energy resource exploration and development activities. Given our shared borders, it is imperative that the ASEAN members jointly explore and harness available resources to ensure the region’s energy security and to benefit our people,” Cusi said.
“While our backgrounds and nationalities may differ on the surface, we share the goal of invigorating the intra-ASEAN energy relations. A united ASEAN in the energy sector is a crucial component in shaping ASEAN’s future,” he added.
Cusi thanked State Minister Yoshihiko Isozaki, head of the METI delegation, for turning over to Philippine electric cooperatives boom trucks donated by the Japanese government through Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) Bangsamoro Project.
The DoE chief also emphasized the relevance of Japan’s ongoing initiative on the Distributed Energy System (DES) that will promotes energy innovation and efficiency.
Further, he expressed the DoE’s interest to be part of METI’s program to evaluate the potential of island provinces and economic zones for DES power generation and electrification projects.
During the meeting with MEMR headed by its Vice Minister, Dr. Arcandra Tahar, Cusi reiterated the country’s aspiration to become the LNG hub in the region, and underscored the need to assess existing development issues on the Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Regulations.
Meanwhile, Cusi proposed the inclusion of Oil Exploration and Development as the 8th Sub-Sector Network in the updated ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation, and for the ASEAN Council on Petroleum.
The proposal was welcomed and strongly supported by the Indonesian Vice Energy Minister because it aims to revisit its role as one of the main organizations within the ASEAN.
Joining Cusi for the two bilateral meetings were DoE Senior Undersecretary Jesus Cristino P. Posadas, Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos, Assistant Secretary Gerardo D. Erguiza Jr., DoE-Energy Policy and Planning Bureau (EPPB) Director Jesus T. Tamang, DoE-EPPB’s Energy Cooperation and Coordination Division Chief Lilian C. Fernandez, and other DoE-EPPB technical personnel.