PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) Act, which seeks to streamline the permit-issuing process for power generation, transmission, and distribution projects.
Malacañang released to reporters on Thursday a copy of Republic Act No. 11234, which Mr. Duterte signed on March 8.
The law provides for the establishment of an Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop, to be supervised by the Department of Energy (DoE).
The DoE is authorized to operate and maintain “an effective information technology infrastructure system, which shall be updated regularly, subject to the provisions of this Act.”
The new law applies to all new power generation, transmission, and distribution projects and all government agencies, including local government units (LGUs), and government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) involved in the permit-issuing process of power generation, transmission, or distribution projects.
EVOSS will serve as “an online payment system for all fees imposed for applications for permits and/or certifications necessary for, or related to, applications for power generation, transmission, or distribution projects.”
EVOSS will also provide “a secure and accessible system for all government bureaus, offices, agencies, GOCCs, LGUs, and other entities involved in the permitting process.”
In a statement, the Senate said that under the law, “all government agencies involved will be required to follow a strict timeframe to act on pending applications. The failure of an agency to act within the prescribed timeframe will result in the automatic approval of said application and potential administrative sanctions against inefficient public officers to penalize the delay.”
“On the other hand, private entities — the system operator and market operator — who fail to act within the prescribed timeframe will be slapped with a P100,000 fine per day of delay,” it also said.
“The greater efficiency under the EVOSS system will result in a welcome bump in disposable income for the average Filipino family. We will be putting a lot of money back where it belongs — in the pockets of Filipino families struggling to pay their basic day to day expenses,” Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, was quoted as saying. — Arjay L. Balinbin