Bill proposes state RE firm

Bill proposes state RE firm

A BILL that seeks to establish a corporation tasked with conducting research and helping develop the Philippines’ renewable energy (RE) industry has been filed before the House of Representatives.

“This bill seeks to accelerate the development of renewable energy sources in order to achieve energy self-reliance through the adoption of sustainable energy strategies,” Pangasinan Rep. Maria Rachel J. Arenas said in House Bill No. 9535.

Under the proposed Philippine Renewable Energy Corporation Charter, the firm is tasked to promote and undertake research, development, utilization, manufacture, sales, marketing, distribution and commercial application of renewables.

The measure would then abolish the Philippine National Oil Company Renewables Corp. (PNOC RC) as its powers and functions will be taken over by the proposed Philippine Renewable Energy Corporation.

It will be mandated to conduct exploration and development of renewable energy sources in the country, as well as construct and operate renewable and hybrid energy generation facilities

These facilities will be in the Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) and other unserved and underserved areas with the help of electric cooperatives or the National Power Corp.

The corporation will be headed by a board of directors, with the ex-officio chairman, president and chief executive officer appointed by the President of the Philippines.

The proposed law would need a P7-billion budget for its implementation.

The measure is currently pending in the House committee on energy.

“There is a need to reduce the Philippines’ dependence on imported fossil fuels and reduce the jarring impact of climate change,” Ms. Arenas added.

On Monday, Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian called for an “energy transition measure” to phase out the use of coal.

“It’s important that we put in place as soon as possible an energy transition measure so that the coal phaseout, including its replacement, would be based on scientific optimization,” Mr. Gatchalian said in a statement.

Mr. Gatchalian reiterated the need to approve Senate Bill No. 157, calling for a just and clean transition to renewables.

“Since the commitment to phase out coal is voluntary, there needs to be sufficient policy signals that would provide incentive for such action,” he said. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz