After two years since the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) was signed into law, Senator Win Gatchalian lauded the move of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to comply with the provisions of the law in pursuing energy development projects.
By virtue of a Commission En Banc Resolution, the NCIP has finally approved and will adopt an EVOSS-compliant time frame for Certificate of Non-Overlap (CNO) and Certification Precondition (CP).
Actions on applications with the NCIP shall be released within 10 calendar days in the case of a Certificate of Non-Overlap (CNO) and 105 calendar days for the Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) for the issuance of a Certification Precondition (CP). A CNO is issued if the land involved in an energy project does not overlap an ancestral domain (AD) while CP is issued when the land involved is within AD and the concerned Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs).
The EVOSS law, which establishes an online process of completing requirements of energy-related projects, ensures that the permitting processes for power generation, transmission, and distribution in the country will remain unimpeded and will eliminate red tape while the country remains in quarantine.
“The approval process of energy projects in areas affected by IP issues usually takes years. But with their compliance with the streamlining processes of power generation, transmission and distribution projects mandated by EVOSS, investors can now be assured of a specific timeframe within which applications will be acted upon without compromising the rights of the IPs,” Gatchalian said.
“Malaki ang maitutulong ng EVOSS Law upang tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang pagproseso ng mga energy-related permits dahil ang lahat ng ito ay pwede nang gawin sa online lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” he added.
All government offices, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) involved in the processing of necessary permits are likewise required to follow a strict time frame and failure of an agency to act within the prescribed period will result in the automatic approval of an application while potential administrative sanctions may be imposed against inefficient public officers to penalize the delay.