By Myrna M. Velasco
The Department of Energy (DOE) has partnered with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. in tackling clean energy initiatives that are seen applicable to the needs of the Southeast Asian bloc.
Through the government-private sector tandem on Cleaner Energy Future Initiative for ASEAN (CEFIA), the two governments set the goal on firming up closer collaboration “to help accelerate the development and utilization of cleaner energy and low carbon technologies within the ASEAN region.”
Inaugural discussions on such initiatives had been concluded in Manila just recently, with the Philippine DOE taking the lead.
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi highlighted the event as “significant for us in the ASEAN, as it has brought governments and the private sector together in one setting, providing a venue for multisectoral discussions on investment opportunities; industry innovations; and energy project financing.”
Being at its crossroads into a much vaunted energy transition landscape, the tracks of discussions are very much relevant in the case of the Philippine energy sector; as well as neighbor-countries in Southeast Asia.
As Cusi emphasized, “governments cannot stand alone in sustaining a fully vibrant energy sector that is able to actively contribute to a country’s robust economic growth.”
He accented the need for “bilateral and multilateral dialogues,” especially among clusters and domains sharing the same vision for a cleaner energy future.
The energy chief claimed that by far, the Philippines already took strides “toward building a sustainable energy future” – asserting that one significant step it has taken was supporting the implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation.
In the CEFIA forum in Manila, a bilateral meeting between Cusi and METI’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister Shuji Miyamoto paved the way for discussions around recent energy sector developments in both countries.