House economic panel asks PE2 to review stimulus bills

Date Published: 
April 23, 2020
  • From left, Rep. Joey S. Salceda, Rep. Sharon S. Garin, Rep. Stella Luz A. Quimbo, the three Co-Chairpersons of the Economic Stimulus Response Package Cluster of the Defeat COVID-19 Special Committee of the House of Representatives. (Photos: GMA Network, Rappler, Daily Tribune.)
    From left, Rep. Joey S. Salceda, Rep. Sharon S. Garin, Rep. Stella Luz A. Quimbo, the three Co-Chairpersons of the Economic Stimulus Response Package Cluster of the Defeat COVID-19 Special Committee of the House of Representatives. (Photos: GMA Network, Rappler, Daily Tribune.)

MAKATI CITY, 23 April 2020 – Within hours of Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance (PE2) president Alexander Ablaza’s issuance of a position statement "Supporting International Energy Agency's Call to Include Energy Efficiency as Economic Stimulus” across the Energy and Economic Affairs Committees of both chambers of the 18th Congress, the Speaker of the House, the Senate President, NEDA and DOE, the three Co-Chairpersons of the House Economic Stimulus Response Package (ESRP) Cluster of the Defeat COVID-19 Special Committee (DCC), namely Rep. Joey S. Salceda, Rep. Sharon S. Garin and Rep. Stella Luz A. Quimbo, wrote PE2, seeking its comments on pending bills related to the stimulus programs. The proposed law will build on Republic Act No. 11469, or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” which was passed into law on 24 March 2020, but will only have a maximum effectivity of no more than three months. Section 9 of RA No. 11469 states that:

“Sec. 9. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect immediately upon its publication in a newspaper of general circulation or in the Official Gazette and shall be in full force and effect only for three (3) months, unless extended by Congress: Provided, That the powers granted under this Act. May be withdrawn sooner by means of a concurrent resolution of Congress or ended by Presidential Proclamation.”

The ESRP lawmakers explained to PE2 that the government will need to act with dispatch in order to institute an economic stimulus response program to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 to the local economy. For this reason, the ESRP Cluster of the House DCC is currently consolidating the two bills authored by Rep. Salceda and Rep. Quimbo.

The three lawmakers transmitted to PE2 earlier today:

  1. National Stimulus Strategy authored by Rep. Joey Sartre Salceda;
  2. Economy Moving Forwards as One Act authored by Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo; and
  3. Proposed Consolidated bill of the above-mentioned bills.

Based on the general principles laid out in the PE2 position statement, PE2 is now studying if it would be feasible for improvements in the consolidated bill to:

  • Prioritize energy efficiency as it would infrastructure (BBB)
  • Accelerate public spending for improving EE in public buildings, delivery of public services, other facilities
  • Allocate concessional/interest-free loans to EE projects, especially those in the public sector
  • Expand stimulus incentives to cover EE projects

In the position statement circulated earlier, PE2 reported that the International Energy Agency (IEA) released on 8 April 2020 its paper “Energy Efficiency and Economic Stimulus – IEA Strategic Considerations for Policy Makers.” PE2 fully supports the IEA recommendation that governments include energy efficiency as a major pillar of proposed economic stimulus packages as countries plan their recovery pathways from the COVID-19 impacts. PE2 cited the cost-effectivity, job-generating impacts, speed of implementation, and the market readiness of energy efficiency as economic stimulus compared to other infrastructure development and other economic activities eyed in the stimulus strategy.

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