Economic czar says renewable sector a priority for private sector partnership

FREDERICK D. GO —PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO

THE RENEWABLE energy sector is among the priorities of the Philippines in its partnership with the private sector, the country’s economic czar said on Wednesday.

Partnerships in the renewable energy sector are considered long-term investments since they are “multi-year projects,” Presidential Investment Adviser Frederick D. Go said in a chance interview near the presidential palace.

“So it can’t be that our president would be invited, attract them to put up an investment and then in six months, it’s up,” he said. “Most of the renewable energy projects are four- or five-year projects.”

A 2024 Green Economy Report for Southeast Asia led by Bain & Company said the Philippines saw a 57% increase in “green” investments to $1.46 billion in 2023, but still falls short of the over $16 billion in required capital investments needed for its green transition.

When asked how the Philippines is faring in terms of attracting foreign investments, Mr. Go said: “We’re doing quite well. And we have so many leads that we are working on.”

Mr. Go touted the Philippine expansion of several big multinational companies such as Unilever, Inc., which invested €80 million in 2023 to boost its factory production for beauty care products in Cavite province south of the capital Manila.

He also cited an expansion of Nestle Philippines, which last year unveiled a plan to expand its coffee business in the country and explore new “growth initiatives” in the local dairy sector.

Mr. Go also touted Philip Morris International’s new P8.8-billion manufacturing facility in Tanauan, Batangas, which is aimed at boosting the production of “smoke-free” products such as the IQOS and Bonds brands.

“We have a lot of projects that are already in the pipeline now.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Go said the private sector will continue to play a big role in the Marcos administration, citing their strong partnership with the Private Sector Advisory Council, which was established in July 2022.

“They’ve been doing a great job in giving their suggestions and recommendations.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza