(UPDATE) President Bongbong Marcos has nominated Raphael Lotilla as the secretary of the Department of Energy, Malacañang said Monday, putting him at the forefront of the government's efforts to temper rising fuel prices.
Lotilla is Marcos' personal choice to head the energy department, but his employment status is being clarified as he is currently an independent director of Aboitiz Power and also of Enexor, a company engaged in the business of oil and gas exploration and production, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said.
Section 8 of the law creating the Department of Energy states that “no officer, external auditor, accountant, or legal counsel of any private company or enterprise primarily engaged in the energy industry shall be eligible for appointment as aecretary within two years from his retirement, resignation, or separation therefrom.”
"Thus while the matter is reviewed to determine whether an independent director is considered an officer of the company, Lotilla is considered a nominee," Cruz-Angeles said.
Should Lotilla be formally appointed, it would be his second time to head the energy department, having previously served in the same position during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from 2005 to 2007.
Prior to that appointment, Lotilla was the president of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation. He also served as deputy director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority.
Lotilla is a lawyer by profession and obtained his Master of Laws from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also taught law at the University of the Philippines where he also received his Bachelor of Laws degree.
Lotilla is one of the last officials to be nominated by Marcos as a member of the Cabinet. The appointees for secretary of health, environment and natural resources, science and technology, and human settlements have yet to be named.