SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
04 May 2021 02:35:53 PM
The House Committee on Energy on Tuesday created a technical working group that would fine-tune the provisions of House Bill 8762, authored by Chairman Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga). The measure would further amend Presidential Decree 334 or the Philippine National Oil Company Charter to grant the PNOC additional powers and incentives to effectively and efficiently perform its mandate related to energy exploration, exploitation, development, storage, as well as transportation. In his opening remarks, Arroyo said the objectives of the bill are to a) equip the PNOC with flexibility to endure energy challenges as a business entity making profits for the government, b) make PNOC an active, vigorous and strong organization fully committed to nation building, as well as c) better utilize resources and meet the growing demands for stable and reliable energy. The bill states that the passage of several laws involving the PNOC has shackled the agency with many rules and regulations which hamper the efficiency of its operations. PNOC Division Chief Antonio Buenviaje appealed for the panel to exempt the agency from the annual budget submission for approval to provide them with more financial leeway. However, Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez underscored the importance of fiscal transparency and the oversight functions that Congress has to exercise over government agencies. He assured that this would not cause delays in the implementation of PNOC initiatives. Section 6 of the bill provides that: “The PNOC shall be exempt from submitting its annual budget to Congress for approval. However, a Joint Senate and House Petroleum Oversight Committee shall be created for the purpose of overseeing the operations of PNOC.” This section and all other stipulations under the measure would be further deliberated upon by the TWG to be chaired by Committee Vice Chairman Rep. Hector Sanchez (Lone District, Catanduanes).