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Lotilla to return to DoE under Marcos

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. named former Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla to lead the Department of Energy (DoE), according to the Presidential Palace.

Mr. Lotilla served as Energy chief from 2005 to 2007 under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Press Secretary Rose Beatrix Laviña Cruz-Angeles said.

Prior to that, he was president of the state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) and deputy director-general at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Mr. Marcos earlier said the role of the Energy secretary will be crucial as the government faces surging prices of fuel and energy.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) last week urged the Marcos administration to tackle the continued increase in electricity rates, and the power supply shortages affecting industries. Electricity rates in the Philippines are already one of the highest in Southeast Asia.

The next DoE chief also needs to address the declining output of the country’s Malampaya natural gas field.

Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research said in a note in August last year that the depletion of the country’s only indigenous gas field is “problematic” since it accounts for 30% of Luzon’s power generation and services 20% of national demand. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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