Press Release
October 22, 2010


The Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) is sending a delegation composed of Filipino experts from government, academe and industry to Taiwan to strengthen ties for future collaboration in solar testing facilities and further develop ties with semiconductor and electronics manufacturers.


The delegation is set to leave on October 26 and is headed by COMSTE Executive Director Dr. Gregory Tangonan, which also includes professors from De La Salle and Ateneo, members of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI) and representatives from leading solar and electronics companies.

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, chair of COMSTE, said the delegation is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) which will initiate the establishment of the Renewable Energy Research and Development Institute (RERDI), which is set to expand the Renewable Energy industry of the country.

Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), said that the Philippine delegation will visit with the heads of more than 15 solar companies in the hopes of being able to entice them to send their solar cells for testing at a new solar testing facility which is set to open within the month in Batangas. The facility is a partnership between COMSTE and First Philec and can test panels for optimal output in tropical conditions.

Angara said that this project and collaboration with the Taiwanese marks the beginning of the RE industry in the country.

"Developing innovative Renewable Energy Systems can aid in achieving the long term goal of energy independence. With RERDI, we can fully utilize Public Private Partnerships and our ties with neighboring countries to stimulate growth in the RE power sector," said Angara.

Dr. Shigero Niki of Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, who heads their Solar Research and Testing Laboratory expressed interest in sending PV for testing in the Philippines, noting that a testing facility here would be able to identify the proper engineering and technology for PV arrays and components which would be ideal for tropical conditions.

Other projects selected by COMSTE for the RERDI are solar cooling assessment, development and demonstration program by the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC)/Institute of Industrial Electrical Engineers/ the De La Salle University and the study of algae as a biofuel. A team composed of members from Ateneo University, Alson Aquacutlure Inc., and two other photo bio-reactor companies aims to study optimal conditions that will promote the growth of algae and the cleaning of coal fired plants by placing nearby aquaculture ponds.

Power, hybrid RE systems, alternative fuels from solid residue, biodiesel production and development, gasohol related process development, and materials development for energy applications are also tagged as priorities for RERDI.


According to Angara, Taiwan is already a partner with COMSTE on many initiatives, including helping in the establishment of the Industrial Research and Development Institute (IRDI), which was patterned after a similar institute in Taiwan.

The Industrial Technological Research Institute (ITRI) is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) that helped evolve Taiwan's economy into a world leader in electronics and semiconductors.

"The Taiwanese have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with COMSTE to aid in the initial phase of the establishment of our own institute," Angara explained.

Angara said, "Our educational standards and weak R&D infrastructure are hurting the global competitiveness level of the nation. Take for example the Electronics and Semiconductors industry, which a few years ago accounted for over 60% of our total exports."

The COMSTE Electronics and Semiconductors panel reported that 62% of the country's exports, roughly $31 Billion, are derived from the electronics sector.

COMSTE works closely with the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc (SEIPI), which is an organization of the largest semiconductor and electronics industry players in the country. SEIPI aims to make the country a regional center of excellence, thus making the country more attractive for investors.

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