Philippine lawmakers create nuclear energy panel

August 19, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear News
The session hall of the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City, the seat of the Philippines’ House of Representatives.

The Philippines’ House of Representatives has established a special 25-member committee to focus on nuclear energy.

Within the committee’s purview, according to an August 9 release from the House’s Press and Public Affairs Bureau, are “all matters directly and principally relating to the policies and programs to the production, utilization, and conservation of nuclear energy, including the development of nuclear power infrastructure, as well as interaction of other energy sources with nuclear energy as a reliable, cost competitive, and environment-friendly energy source to ensure energy security consistent with the national interest and the state’s policy of freedom from nuclear weapons.”

Rep. Mark Cojuangco, the Special Committee on Nuclear Energy’s designated chairperson, pledged to inform the Philippine public on nuclear’s benefits and to craft measures that could provide for the construction of nuclear power plants in the country, the release added.

Part of the plan: The committee’s establishment is in keeping with recent statements and actions from the Philippine government. In February, some 19 months after ordering a study to determine the feasibility of introducing nuclear energy into the Philippines’ power generation mix, then president Rodrigo Duterte ordered the adoption of a “national position for a nuclear energy program” to address the country’s projected phaseout of coal-fired plants. (The Philippines participated in last November’s COP26 conference, where it affirmed its commitment “to shift away from the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel.”)

Also, in March, then presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (now Philippine president) and running mate Sara Duterte (daughter of the former president) said in a joint statement, “Our vision for the country is to have at least one nuclear power plant so we can finally produce cheap energy and for us to lower our electricity rates.”

Marcos reiterated his pronuclear stance in his state of the nation address last month, noting that regulations for nuclear power plants have been strengthened since the Fukushima accident and that new technologies have “developed that allow smaller scale modular nuclear plants and other derivations thereof.”

Related Articles