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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Sec. Cusi Strengthens PH Energy Ties with Japan and Indonesia



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Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi conducted bilateral meetings with Japan’s Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) and the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus Three (ASEAN+3) members, during the 37th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM37) held in Bangkok, Thailand from 2 to 6 September 2019.

For the Energy Secretary, the annual AMEM presents great opportunities to pursue bilateral talks with the country’s existing and potential energy partners within the region.

“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,” Secretary Cusi said.

Sec. Cusi thanked State Minister Yoshihiko Isozaki, head of the METI delegation, for the successful turnover of boom trucks to Philippine electric cooperatives granted by the Japanese Government through Japan International Cooperation Agency's (JICA) Bangsamoro Project.

Thereafter, the Energy Chief emphasized the relevance of Japan’s ongoing initiative on the Distributed Energy System (DES), that will promotes energy innovation and efficiency. 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, Secretary 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. Sec. Cusi also 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 the Energy Secretary 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.

“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,” Secretary Cusi concluded.

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