November 21st, 2022
House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) lauded the effort of President Marcos to diversify the country’s energy portfolio by engaging in talks with French President Emmanuel Macron on possible partnerships in nuclear energy, saying that shifting away from fossil fuels remains the country’s most important step towards cheaper, more stable, and more dependable energy supply.
“The lesson that must be learned from COVID, as it should have been from the Global Financial Crisis, is that countries shift or revert towards dirty energy after crises because they see it as cheap, only to later on see their prices spike up above pre-crisis levels. That always happens,” Salceda said.
“So, President Marcos’s efforts to diversify our energy portfolio respond to the most urgent national needs for clean and cheap energy and for climate change mitigation.”
Earlier this year, Salceda called President Marcos the country’s first “renewable energy President.”
“He is the first President to have been elected on a strong platform of renewable energy. That platform and its iconography of windmills was the main symbol of the campaign, as well, and evoked themes of forward-thinking and innovation. President Marcos has been staying true to that, so far, with the liberalization of RE generation. He is on track to achieve much more,” Salceda added.
“While nuclear as RE is debatable, it is definitely cleaner than coal, which comprises more than half our dependable capacity. Coal emits 70x more CO2 per kilowatt-hours than nuclear. Nuclear accidents can be avoided with technology. But coal always kills, with slow death by environmental asphyxiation” Salceda added.
Salceda says that, with this development, he hopes that President Marcos will reiterate President Duterte’s declaration of transitioning to nuclear energy as a national energy strategy.
“I also hope that he will prioritize the institutionalization of the Philippine Nuclear Regulatory Commission as an agency,” Salceda, who is principal author of the bill, added.
Salceda meeting with renewable energy stakeholders
Salceda has also been meeting with prospective renewable energy stakeholders to boost financing for renewable energy projects.
“I am in talks with stakeholders from RE-heavy countries like Norway and Switzerland, and with the banking sector to see how we can boost financing for RE projects in the country. This will help foreign investors boost the impact of their investments in the Philippines,” Salceda said.
Salceda adds that he particularly wants foreign investment in renewable energy “due to their technical expertise and their innovations.”
“The money is there. The Philippines is a very highly investible country with huge RE potential. But we need technology, know-how, and innovation. That is what foreign RE investors can offer us,” Salceda added.