Energy and Power. The Energy and Power Committee continued to organize meetings and policy dialogues with government and private sector stakeholders to provide the business community with updates on the power demand and supply situation and craft position papers on, or inform members of new policies that affect the electric power industry, which for this year are on the following:
1. Retention of energy and power in the 2012 Investment Priority Projects (IPP). PCCI's position, with inputs from industry consumers and players in the energy and power sectors, stressed the importance of incentives to entice foreign direct investments (FDIs) particularly in the electric power industry to meet the need for additional capacities and fill the gap required until power generation reserves have been met.
2. Opposition to the feed-in tariff (FiT) and the FiT allowance (FiT ALL) for emerging technologies - solar, wind and ocean. The FiT ALL mandates a premium rate paid for by all power consumers for electricity sourced from renewable energy (RE) resources. Strong business sector voice resulted to FiT ALL rates approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) that are significantly lower than petitioned by the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB).
3. Managing business sector's expectations on the open access regime, the implementation of which was delayed due to the lack of needed infrastructure. Open access will allow consumers with an average monthly consumption of one megawatt one year prior to implementation, to choose their own power supplier.
4. A coherent strategy focused on the supply side and complemented with sustained low power cost, which has been the key advantage of Mindanao in getting investments to locate in the area.
PCCI, through the Energy and Power Committee, continues to monitor the movement of power rates, specifically petitions lodged at the ERC, to ensure fair decisions and are not detrimental to consumers.
Addressing the issue of power rate and supply sustainability from the demand-side, PCCI is promoting the adoption of energy efficiency and conservation measures by enterprises and industries, as well as the use of renewable energy resources in island grids under the small power utilities group (SPUG) run by the National Power Corporation (NPC).
Water. The Water Committee was convened and organized this year to look into the issues of water as a utility and as input to business and industry. Currently, the water sector is characterized as having a fragmented institutional and regulatory framework, which has become a major challenge as the country faces concerns of effectively managing and utilizing its water resources.
The Committee undertook a series of consultative-meetings with water-related agencies with the objective of understanding the subject of water as a utility, specifically in the allocation, tariff-setting, sustainability and reliability of supply. These include the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), the Manila Waterworks Sewerage System and the Local Water Utilities Administration.
PCCI is in the process of developing a policy paper for an integrated, holistic approach that will address interrelated issues of development/planning, utilization and management in the water sector and ensure water security.