Danish firms that have invested in the renewable energy (RE) sector in the Philippines are seeking clarification on foreshore and seabed lease arrangements.
“It is correct to say these things need clarification, but I am also happy to say that the government has made it very clear that it is aware of these problems and need to be solved; and that they want to ensure that there is a clear transparent process toward approvals,” said the Danish Ambassador to the Philippines Franz-Michael Mellbin.
The concerns intensified among the companies which signed up for service contracts with 100-percent foreign equity.
According to the Manila Bulletin, Melbin further indicated that it is “crucial to define the rules of the government agencies involved – specifically the local government units (LGUs) which may be claiming jurisdiction over project sites.”
In addressing the concerns, the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) has stated that for a legal opinion, it has to be sought from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to clarify the legal grounds for regulations that must be applied to these lease agreements.
Furthermore, the department suggested that a memorandum of agreement (MOA) shall be signed by the energy department with the DENR to explicitly identify the roles that each agency will carry out when it comes to foreshore and seabed lease covenants for RE projects.