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Right to develop Philippines' geothermal resources to be given thru open, competitive process —DOE

On the heels of allowing 100% foreign ownership in large-scale geothermal projects, the Department of Energy (DOE) clarified that granting of a right to develop the country’s energy resources to a certain entity, whether foreign or local, will only be given through a transparent and competitive bidding.

“The exclusive right to develop a geothermal resource will be granted through an Open and Competitive Selection Process (OCSP),” the DOE said.

“In this process, all proponents, whether foreign or Filipino corporations, will have to compete,” it said.

The entity with the best offer will get the renewable energy contract, according to the Energy department.

The DOE issued a Department Circular providing the guidelines for the third Open and Competitive Selection Process (OCSP3) in the awarding of Renewable Energy (RE) Service Contracts.

“From an investment perspective, OCSP3 allows for 100% foreign ownership in large-scale geothermal exploration, development, and utilization projects,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier said.

Geothermal resources are defined as mineral resources by Republic Act 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.

While the Philippines now allows 100% foreign participation in geothermal resources development, the DOE said foreign investors must meet the following conditions:

It should be large-scale, with a minimum investment cost of about $50 million

Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) as provided under the Constitution

FTAAs could be entered into between foreign contractors and the Philippine government for the large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources, and are signed by the President. -MDM, GMA News