Press Release
September 1, 2016

Excerpts from Open Forum at 6th Philippine Solar Summit
and Exhibition 2016

On the issue of fiscal incentives to the solar and alternative energy sector

SP Pimentel: As I have stated in my speech, I have an open mind, and I have been encouraging my colleagues to also maintain open minds. If you can point to us a model - if other countries have given incentives to rooftop solar power installers - then maybe we can follow that model.

But definitely, this administration would not be that thirsty and hungry for taxes, because part of the program of government of the Duterte administration - and we will definitely do this - is tax reform, income tax reform which was resisted by previous administrations out of maybe allergic reaction or fear from losing revenues.

But not this administration, hence if we talk about incentives maybe in the form of the relaxation of VAT or some of the taxes you mentioned, certainly this administration and its allies in Congress have open minds, but you can help in the specific details.

On the need for the right incentives to keep the solar industry's momentum SPKP: That's correct, it's a balancing act. We are legislators, and not experts in energy pricing and insets so we need guidance as well in this field. What is important is the open mind is there, and the desire to help is there, and the belief in the important role of solar energy in the energy mix of the country.

Q: On the continued implementation of the feed-in tariff in the solar industry

SPKP: If there are some controversies about the feed-in tariff or in the awarding of contracts, you can approach me or any other legislator and we can file the proper resolution to have this incident or development investigated. If the proposal of the group is to do away with the feed-in tariff concept and that is in the law, we just have to repeal that certain portion, and we can also enact a law that will provide for a solar energy roadmap so that this will bind the agencies in following the roadmap. These are our options.

What is important is to help your legislators develop some expertise in the field so that we will have a grasp of the situation or the industry so we can help you. But the involvement of the experts is indispensable, it is required. Out of the three hundred fifty plus legislators, I don't know how many are experts in the energy field.

I had a briefing last night about the power sector, and I had the impression that it is still a 'Wild-Wild West' situation because precisely not only do we lack a roadmap or a framework for solar energy, we also don't even have it for nuclear energy, we don't even have it for other sources of energy.

So we have a long way to go, but there are lots of positives and achievements here in the Philippines despite that lacking. Imagine what can we achieve if we have this roadmap or framework.

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