Secretary Vincent S. Perez, Jr.
Department of Energy
June 2001 - March 2005
Vince Perez was appointed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in June 2001 at age 42 as the youngest Secretary of the Department of Energy.
Prior to the Energy post, Sec. Perez served briefly for three months as Undersecretary for Industry and. Investments at the Department of Trade and Industry and Managing Head of the Board of Investments.
Power Reforms became the battle cry under his tenure. Having faced three catastrophic grid as wide blackouts in his first year, Sec. Perez undertook a major overhaul of TransCo, such that there has been no Luzon grid wide black out since May 2002.
He oversaw the government's most comprehensive reorganization of various energy agencies with manpower reduction of more than 3,600 personnel. He jumpstarted the much-awaited privatization of the heavily indebted NPC with six plants successfully privatized so far.
He also navigated the delicate re-negotiations with more than 20 independent power producers, which generated $3 billion in future savings for the government.
He pushed for difficult power regulatory reforms, including removal of power rate subsidies, reflecting true cost of electricity and laid the foundation for a wholesale electricity market by 2006.
He accelerated rural electrification as part of President Arroyo's battle against rural poverty by energizing 6,634 barangays and sitios since 2001, more than the previous three administrations.
He pushed for efficiency in electric utilities, and for improved distribution service in various franchise areas such as Aklan, Bohol, Cebu, Masbate and Subic.
Energy Independence being one of the five major reform packages of the Arroyo Administration, Sec. Perez boosted the Philippines' energy self sufficiency from 45% in 2000 to 56% in 2004.
He renewed oil and gas exploration by launching the country's first petroleum bidding round with five service contracts awarded in the last 12 months, from none in the preceding six years.
He also aggressively promoted clean indigenous energy such as natural gas, and set a goal for the Philippines to become the world's largest geothermal power producer and Southeast Asia's leading wind power producer.
He initiated the development of alternative transport fuels for commercial use to reduce the country's dependence on imported oil.
He advocated consumer welfare and protection through intensified inspections of gas stations, campaigns on LPG standards and safety, and immediate implementation of the Meralco refund to marginalized electricity consumers. He re-launched an energy conservation campaign, promoted energy efficient lighting and mediated the scale down of the oil depots and the creation of Pandacan Linear Park.
He encouraged the oil companies to provide discounts on diesel fuel to public transport and immediately reflect downward international price movements in the local pump prices.
Sec. Perez actively promoted fresh investment in the energy sector, such that energy accounted for 70% of total investments registered with the BOI & PEZA in 2004.
Sec. Perez also played a key role in Philippine economic diplomacy, by forging strategic energy partnerships with China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the U.K. and the U.S., including ensuring adequate oil inventory during the Iraq war. He was elected the youngest chairman among his peers of both the ASEAN and APEC energy ministers meetings, and hosted the first ever ASEAN+3 energy ministerial meeting.