Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez pushed for the passage of a bill establishing the Philippine Renewable Energy Corp. (PREC) that would focus on the development of renewable energy (RE) sources in the country.
Under his House Bill No. 4205, Rodriguez said Congress needs to enact measures that would help ensure a stable, affordable, and reliable supply of electricity to sustain economic growth and enhance the well-being of the nation.
“It is imperative for the government to take a more active role in ensuring an adequate supply of electricity with the use of renewable energy sources, thereby reducing the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and mitigating the impact of climate change,” the veteran legislator said.
“There is also an urgent need to undertake electrification projects through the development of RE sources in underserved, unserved and missionary areas.”
The seasoned lawmaker stressed there is also an urgent need to undertake electrification projects through the development of RE sources in underserved, unserved, and missionary areas.
The veteran legislator said the necessity of developing RE projects could not be stressed enough following the warning of Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla of a tight power supply situation in the first half of 2023.
“Accelerating existing (RE) projects and finding new sources will eventually boost supply,” he said.
Rodriguez said other RE resources under HB 4205 include biomass, solar, wind, geothermal, ocean energy, and hydropower.
The bill abolishes the Philippine National Oil Corp.-Renewables Corp. (PNOC-RC).
The bill abolishes the Philippine National Oil Corp.-Renewables Corp. (PNOC-RC) and transfers its power, functions, projects, investments, funds, property and other assets, and personnel to the proposed PREC.
The envisioned new entity would also inherit the Agus-Pulangui Hydroelectric Power Plant complex and its facilities, which are currently operated and maintained by the National Power Corp.
The bill provides that the complex, consisting of seven power plants located along the Agus and Pulangui rivers in Lanao and Bukidnon, shall be exempt from privatization.
The plants generate about 1,000 megawatts of electricity.
“The plants shall be retained to generate buffer supply for Mindanao,” he said.
The bill also mandates the inclusion of P7 billion in the national budget as an initial appropriation for PREC.
Aside from the appropriation, the corporation’s authorized capital shall include all assets it would receive from PNOC-RC, and the Agus-Pulangui complex and its facilities.
PREC would be governed by a board of directors composed of seven members to be appointed by the President for a term of three years.
The use of renewable energy is on top of the agenda of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA), Marcos emphasized the need to increase the level of energy production in the country as “our demand for energy far exceeds our reliable supply”.
“We must look at every possible option that would be appropriate for the Philippine situation. Our search for new power sources should always be with an eye to improving the mix of the energy supply between traditional and renewable sources,” he said.
“The technology of renewable energy is progressing rapidly. And many of these technologies are appropriate for the Philippines,” Marcos added.