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Quisumbing Torres (QT) was the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines' (ECCP) Advocacy Partner for the 4th Energy Smart Philippines 2017 held on 26 October 2017. In partnership with the EU-Philippines Business Network (EPBN), the event was co-funded by the European Union in the Philippines.

The summit highlighted the growing partnership of the European Union (EU) and the Philippines in promoting sustainable energy future for the country.

With the theme Strengthening EU-PH Partnerships for Promoting a Sustainable Energy Future, the summit was attended by the energy and business sectors' top decision makers. It provided the participants the opportunity to establish contacts with organizations and individuals affiliated with the EU supported initiatives, such as the EU Philippines Business Network (EPBN), EU Access to Sustainable Energy Program (ASEP), EU Switch to High Efficiency Motors (HEMs) and the EU Business Avenues program (EUBA).

Energy Smart 2017 was officially opened by ECCP President and EPBN Chairman Guenter Taus, along side ECCP Vice President Martin Ruby who delivered the welcome remarks. "Through the years, the EU has been assisting the Philippine energy sector by providing technical assistance to stakeholders of the energy sector through the various EU programs. ECCP is happy to be involved in all these EU programs that are aimed at making a significant contribution to the development of the country's energy sector," said Guenter Taus, ECCP President and EPBN Chairman.

QT Partners Dennis Quintero and Alain Charles Veloso moderated the summit's sessions on Implementing the Power Sector Roadmap (Supply Side) and Implementing the Energy Efficiency Roadmap (Demand Side) respectively. Among other key topics were Instituting Energy Performance Standards and Green Energy Business Opportunities.

"The Energy Smart summit has provided an excellent venue for project sponsors, service and product providers, and other stakeholders in the energy sector to voice their concerns and suggestions to move the energy sector forward. It has also provided the government an opportunity to update the stakeholders on the more recent efforts of the government to develop the sector and help remove the bottlenecks in project development, such as the creation of the Energy Investment Coordinating Council (EICC) under a Presidential Executive Order. I believe the lively discussion between the government and private sector during the summit on these points heralds increased engagement to move the sector forward,” said Dennis, Partner of Quisumbing Torres' Corporate & Commercial Practice Group and Head of the Energy, Mining & Infrastructure Industry Group.

Dennis moderated the open forum of the summit's opening session, among his panelists were ECCP President and EPBN Chairman Guenter Taus, H.E. Ambassador Franz Jessen, Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, Usec. Benito Ranque, Department of Energy, Willy Hick, Programme Manager for Energy of the EU Delegation and Vice President for Utilities Rodolfo Indorte, ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB) in the Philippines. He also handled the panel discussion of the event's afternoon session on Implementing the Power Sector Roadmap (Supply Side) where topics regarding Overview of the Power Roadmap & Off-grid and Household Energy Access, EPBN Energy Committee Recommendations for a Sustainable Energy Future and Promoting Energy Efficiency in the Power Generation / Transmission Sector & Distribution Sector were discoursed.

Session speakers were Director Mario Marasigan, Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, Co-Chair Ruth Owen, EPBN Energy Committee and Technical and Design Promotions Manager Tristan Ocampo, ABB.

The summit's session on Implementing the Energy Efficiency Roadmap (Demand Side) was facilitated by Alain Charles Veloso, Quisumbing Torres' Partner of the Corporate & Commercial Practice Group.

"Pursuing a sustainable energy policy will be profitable in the long-run, because energy users save more money through lower energy costs than the amount they initially spend to implement energy saving measures. The challenge though is obtaining financing for the costs to implement energy saving measures, and this is where ESCOs and green finance enter the picture," shared Charles.

The conference's energy efficiency roadmap session tackled the Overview of the Energy Efficiency Roadmap, ESCO's to support the National energy Efficiency Drive: Thailand Experience and Promoting Green Financing for Energy Efficiency Projects. Among the session speakers were Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido, Office of the Assistant Secretary Department of Energy, Managing Director Arhit Vechakij, Excellent Energy International Company Ltd, (Thailand) and Cristina Aquino, Head-Business Development, Association of Development Financing (ADFIAP) Consulting.

In conjunction with Energy Smart Philippines 2017, an EU Business Mission on Green Energy was conducted, 40 companies from Europe attended the business matching activity. The business mission paved way for delegate interaction with the EUBA delegates that are interested in doing business in the Philippines. Energy Smart Philippines continued to push forward with its sustainable energy campaign through the Energy Smart Event Series. The summit's provincial legs were conducted in Cebu last 7 November and in Cagayan De Oro last 9 November 2017.

Energy Smart Philippines 2017 Press Briefing

Attended by various media affiliates, a press briefing was held on12 October at the Makati Shangri-La, Makati. Opened by ECCP President and EPBN Steering Committee Chair Guenter Taus, he provided a brief background of ECCP's ongoing energy advocacy, emphasizing the organization's energy vision."Every kilowatt we save is a kilowatt we don't have to produce", Guenter stated.

He highlighted the importance of energy legislation in the Philippines and the remarkable progress of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill that's recently being reviewed in the Senate.

Moreover, Enrico Strampelli, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to the Philippines also shared ongoing EU energy initiatives in the country such as the Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP), EU Business Avenues (EUBA) Program and Higher Efficiency Motors (HEMs).

Donemark Calimon, QT's Partner and Head of the Dispute Resolution Practice Group moderated the press conference's open forum where the panelists answered the press' queries regarding funding and the implementation of energy initiatives.

"It’s interesting to hear that the ECCP and the EU have a lot of energy related projects for the Philippines. The HEMs and ASEP are I think promising initiatives that we are hoping to hear about in the next few months or years," said Donemark.

Other key speakers and panelists in the briefing were Walter Gallo, Head of Product Marketing of ABB Philippines, Marvin Ryan Bathan, Project Manager of HEMs and Mads Christensen, Team Leader of ASEP.

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