Friday, September 6, 2019

Sec. Cusi Leads the Philippine Delegation for AMEM37

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AMEM STRONG: DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi (fourth from left) joins the other Energy Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

for their signature solidarity pose during the opening of the 37th ASEAN Energy Ministers Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi headed the Philippine Delegation for the 37th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM37) and Associated Meetings being held from 2 to 6 September 2019.

Slated for the event is a series of Ministerial Meetings, which includes the AMEM-International Energy Agency Dialogue, AMEM-International Renewable Energy Agency Dialogue, 13th East-Asia Summit Energy Ministers Meeting, and the 16th AMEM+3 Meeting. In addition, the Ministers-CEO Dialogue under the 2019 ASEAN Energy Business Forum, which highlights various energy-related concerns within the ASEAN region and its dialogue partners, would likewise take place.

"The annual AMEM is always a great opportunity for the Philippines to reach out to our ASEAN partners and showcase our most recent achievements in the energy sector. Moreover, we are able to explore potential energy cooperation endeavors to help us attain our energy goals, particularly energy security, equity, and resiliency," Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said during the AMEM's Opening Ceremony.

With this year's theme "Advancing Energy Transition through Partnership and Innovation", AMEM 37 intends to further strengthen collaboration among ASEAN member countries, their regional partners, and international organizations through the formulation of sustainable solutions that would promote closer regional integration and establish the ASEAN as a major economic block.

At present, the ASEAN has achieved an energy intensity (EI) reduction level of 24.4%, consistent with the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) Strategy target to reduce EI by 20% in 2020. Meanwhile, the renewable energy (RE) share in ASEAN’s Total Primary Energy Supply reached 14.3% in 2017, with the APAEC Strategy calling to increase the RE component in the ASEAN’s Total Primary Energy Mix to 23% by 2025.

On the matter of promoting regional power integration, the ASEAN Energy Ministers noted the supplemental multi-lateral electricity trade among Lao PDR, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore (LTMS) under the Energy Purchase and Wheeling Agreement (EPWA). The Supplementary EPWA upgrades the tradable capacity of Phase 1 of the LTMS Power Integration Project which was signed during the Philippine hosting of AMEM35 in 2017.

Secretary Cusi will also be holding bilateral meetings with the US-ASEAN Business Council, US State Department, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan to advance the Philippines’ energy agenda.

Other members of the official Philippine Delegation to AMEM37 include DOE Senior Undersecretary Jesus Cristino P. Posadas, Assistant Secretary Gerardo D. Erguiza Jr., DOE-Energy Policy and Planning (EPPB) Bureau Director Jesus T. Tamang, and EPPB-Energy Cooperation and Coordination Division Chief Lilian C. Fernandez.


STRONGER TOGETHER: In Sec. Cusi's statement during the AMEM-International Energy Agency Dialogue, he called for ASEAN members to embrace a more active role in joint energy resource development within the region.

He stated that together, the ASEAN could further expand collaboration through its shared borders and common concerns over depleting oil and gas resources.

AMEM37 AND COUNTING: During the Opening Ceremony of AMEM37, Sec. Cusi outlined some of the strides made by the region relative to the targets set in the ASEAN Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation.

Emphasizing the benefits of energy efficiency and conservation, he also shared the recent passage of the Philippines' Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act, which was signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in May 2019. He also emphasized that the need for the country's energy efficiency goals to go hand-in-hand with the ASEAN’s energy sustainability mission.

DOE IN FULL FORCE: The members of the Official Philippine Delegation to AMEM37, DOE-Energy Policy and Planning Bureau (EPPB)'s Energy Cooperation and Coordination Division Chief Lilian C. Fernandez; EPPB Director Jesus T. Tamang; Senior Undersecretary Jesus Cristino P. Posadas; DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi; and Assistant Secretary Gerardo D. Erguiza Jr., during a bilateral meeting held at the sidelines of the event.

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