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DOE elevates energy security to national security

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ENERGY SECURITY AND NATIONAL SECURITY. In photo are DOE Spokesperson and EPPB Supervising Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella (first from left, top row), DOE Undersecretary Alexander S. Lopez (fourth from left, top row), NSC Deputy Director General Vicente Agdamag (first from left, second row), NICA Assistant Director General Rolando S. Asuncion (third from left, top row), and OCD-NDRRMC Director Tecson John S. Lim (fifth from left, top row) during the joint briefing organized by the DOE.

The Department of Energy (DOE) held a joint briefing on 03 May for the National Security Council (NSC), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), and the Office of the Civil Defense – National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (OCD-NDRRMC) on the updated Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) for 2018-2040 and the threats/challenges of the energy sector.

“I highly appreciate the support extended by our security officials to the plans and programs of the DOE, especially our updated Philippine Energy Plan. This is another significant step towards the attainment of long-term energy security for the country,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said upon being informed of the successful holding of the briefing.

Energy Undersecretary Alexander S. Lopez who led the meeting stressed the importance of energy security as a key component of the National Security Strategy (NSS). For the 2020-2040 PEP, he said, the DOE will integrate the national security aspect for a more encompassing and consistent policy environment.

“In doing so, the DOE can address all possible threats and challenges to the country’s energy systems,” Lopez pointed out.

For his part, DOE Planning Bureau Supervising Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella received the guidance and feedback from the national security agencies.

“This will provide DOE a better understanding on how the PEP could address energy security gaps in the context of national security,” Fuentebella stressed.

He emphasized the role of global geopolitics in energy security, and the importance of developing and utilizing the country’s indigenous resources especially those located in disputed territories.

The event also served as a platform for information exchange and identification of possible areas of cooperation:

  1. a) Integration of national security in the PEP;
  2. b) Improvement of the Energy Security Chapter in the NSS and the National Security Policy (NSP);
  3. c) DOE’s membership in the National Intelligence Committee (NIC);
  4. d) Policy review on the possible use of AFP’s lands and assets for energy development; and
  5. e) Facilitation on access of the Electric Cooperatives (ECs) to the Quick Response Fund (QRF).

NSC Deputy Director General Vicente Agdamag and NICA Assistant Director General Rolando S. Asuncion expressed strong support for the energy sector and its wider coverage in the Energy Security Chapter of the NSS and NSP.

Cusi thanked the NSC, NICA and the OCD-NDRRMC officials for supporting the PEP and the other initiatives of the DOE. The Energy chief also welcomed the five identified areas for cooperation among the DOE and the concerned agencies.

The DOE-Energy Policy and Planning Bureau (EPPB) organized the briefing to take a more holistic and systematic approach in addressing the security needs of the energy sector.

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