MANILA, Philippines– The Department of Energy (DOE) has tapped two former Supreme Court (SC) chief justices to advice the agency on energy law reform and various legal matters.
In a briefing on Thursday, August 25, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla announced that the DOE had tapped retired SC chief justices Artemio Panganiban and Reynato Puno to be co-chairs of the law and energy advisory panel.
“They will serve as private citizens and will not assume any public office. Legal responsibility and accountability will continue to reside in the DOE,” Lotilla said.
Panganiban and Puno are expected to give advice on critical legal matters, including the Malampaya-Camago gas field, the Philippines’ biggest gas-to-power initiative to date.
The Malampaya project is currently the subject of various legal issues, including the share sale to tycoon Dennis Uy, as well as the project’s late-life and decommissioning concerns.
Lotilla added that the panel may also tackle sovereign issues and cross-border contracts “should the time come for doing so.”
Panganiban and Puno will also advise the DOE on the upstream oil and gas sector, the promotion of indigenous and low-carbon sources of energy, and legislative agenda on alternative and new technologies.
“The advisory panel or its members may also assist the DOE in communicating any aspects of the DOE’s legal or policy initiatives, which have been the subject of their advice,” Lotilla said. –Rappler.com