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PIA Press Release

Renewable Energy Bill to wean RP from imported oil

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (6 February) -- By the time the Renewable Energy Bill is enacted into law, this will help wean the country's dependence from imported oil.

The Renewable Energy Bill have been certified as urgent and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stressed that "it would be wiser to push for the approval" as she urged anew Congress to urgently act on it.

The Bill seeks the declaration of a state policy of giving preference to the development and utilization of renewable energy resources and technologies in view of its environmental and social desirability.

"Energy security also demands the development of indigenous and renewable sources of energy, including domestic oil and gas, geothermal solar, wind, wave and biofuels," President Arroyo said noting that while the government has made remarkable gains in the development of indigenous and renewable sourvces of energy, there is a need to accelerate efforts to achieve total independence from finite, fossil fuel.

At the just concluded Energy summit, President arroyo acted on the recommendations of energy stakeholders by issuing directives deemed to soften the impact of the soaring prices of oil in the world market on the Filipino people, especially the poor, the Philippine businesses and industries.

The Malacanang press report disclosed that the President directed the Department of Trade and Industry petition the Energy Regulatory Board to prohibit Meralco from charging system losses and to the 12 percent and not 16 percent rate of return of investment.

The President directed former Energy Secretary Vince Perez and Trade Secretary Peter Favila to urge individual players and government to cooperate on how to implement open access now. The President's directive also called on Napocor to sell electricity to Meralco based on the same rate that the former is charging Luzon electric cooperatives. The President noted that Meralco buys from Whole Sale Electricity Market (WSEM) during peak hours; and instructed DTI to direct Meralco not to buy from WSEM during peak hours as rates are enormous.

As to the recommendation of the Summit to scrap the value added tax on electricity, the President said that such move would need legislation. (PIA) [top]

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