Economic Planning Secretary and
NEDA Director-General

25 November 2014, 3:00 PM
Shangri-la Hotel, Makati City

US Ambassador Philip Goldberg; USAID Philippines Mission Director Gloria Steele; Dean Ramon Clarete of the UP School of Economics; Sec. Carlos Jericho Petilla of the Department of Energy; representatives from the private sector; colleagues in the government; friends in the academe and energy sector; esteemed guests; ladies and gentlemen: a pleasant afternoon.

On behalf of NEDA, I would like to congratulate the UPecon Foundation for the Program Launch of the Energy Policy and Development Program or EPDP or EPDP. I also would like to thank the USAID for their continued support to the Philippine Government’s numerous initiatives towards sustainable energy development.

We cannot overemphasize the role of energy in our pursuit of poverty reduction and inclusive development in this country. The economy has seen rapid and sustained growth in the past few years; in fact, average growth from 2010-2013 (6.3%) is the highest consecutive 4-year average growth since the late 1970s. However, along with higher growth comes an increasing demand for energy, and our economic gains can only be sustained by ensuring the provision of reliable and low-cost energy throughout the country. Clearly, the effort to address poverty and unemployment will be constrained when the costs of doing business in the country remains to be very high. Furthermore, energy concerns are very much interlinked with other key development objectives including food and water security; prudent and efficient conservation of natural resources and the environment.

Owing to perceived future energy security and its implication on the country’s economic growth, crafting appropriate public policies play a critical role in the future economic landscape. In this regard, the Philippine Development Plan Midterm Update 2011-2016 emphasizes the need for sustainable, reliable, and efficient use of energy resources, as well as the development of environment-friendly energy technologies. However, the evolving energy needs requires a continuous review and crafting of evidence-based policies and regulations.  Hence, the EPDP can prove to be invaluable think-tank providing guidance to stakeholders in the energy sector and policymakers in government in the crucial years ahead.

Thus, today’s Program Launch is not only a milestone but also an opportunity to exchange views on the formulation of policies and strategies for ecologically-sound energy development. Rest assured that the NEDA will continuously support this initiative. With that, congratulations again to the UPecon Foundation and we look forward to more partnerships as we work hand in hand toward a sustainable energy sector contributing to our country’s development.

Thank you and mabuhay tayong lahat!

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