Press Releases

Salceda welcomes foreign chambers’ FDI target of USD 128 bn by 2030; wants more investments in agriculture, rural development

December 4th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) welcomed the foreign direct investment target of USD 128 billion set by the country’s Joint Foreign Chambers by 2030, the bulk of which is seen to go towards energy projects.

In a statement, Salceda says that he welcomed the “very realistic target set by the JFC for foreign direct investments in the country. I would even say they can be more ambitious.”

Salceda made the remarks following a statement released by the JFC lauding reforms to open the country to more investments, especially in the renewable energy sector.

“I have discussed to chambers my Plan 1k7k – increase minimum wage to P1,000 by reducing energy costs to P7/kilowatt-hour. That level of wage will allow workers to invest 35% of their earnings in pension, health insurance, and housing, which will create a new middle class in the country.”

“To lower power costs to that level, we need substantial investments creating some 30 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity in the country. We need a surplus of renewables, basically, because it undercuts pricing abuse in coal, oil, and gas-powered plants. You can’t artificially reduce the supply of the wind or the sun,”

In response, Salceda proposed a short-term action plan for the government to boost renewable energy investments, which he says will result in even more investments in other sectors.

“First, we need to clarify that renewable energy is part of “green financing” as defined in the implementing rules and regulations of the Agri-Agra amendments. That will unlock billions in new credit for renewable energy. There’s language that specifies investments in climate change adaptation and mitigation, but it’s best to spell out RE.”

“Second, we need to review whether we still need to amend the Foreign Investments Negative List to truly allow RE investments in. I think we don’t have to, but the DOE has requested NEDA to make an explicit amendment just to be sure.”

“Third, we need to allow our cash-flush GFIs to invest in more renewable energy projects directly. That is the expressed aspiration of PBBM with the Maharlika Investment Fund. He explicitly mentioned investment in dams. That hits two birds with one stone – water supply issues and power constraints.”

“Fourth, we need to expedite land use permits for renewable energy. They go through the Sangguniang Panlalawigan currently. The DILG would be best-placed to set the guidelines in this regard.”

“Finally, we need to make a position in RE battery technology. That is what make renewable energy dependable. We have one of the world’s best-known vehicle battery manufacturers, so we can help them venture into bigger battery technology. We are a world leader in producing copper, nickel, and cobalt – key metals for batteries. If we can make batteries here, that will complete the RE value-chain. So, incentives for processing minerals here, as well as for manufacturing and research on batteries will be all-important”

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