Press Release
November 10, 2012


As power rates continue to soar, Senator Edgardo J. Angara called on the government to invest in so-called "green technology" through the use of renewable energy (RE) resources to spare Filipino consumers from high electricity rates and perennial power rate hikes.

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) recently announced that it will increase its electricity rates this month due to an increase in generation cost last month. Last month's electricity rates were also higher than the previous month's.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, said, "In investing on the Philippines' vast RE potential, the country could save millions in foreign reserves which could translate to lower electricity rates for ordinary Filipino consumers. In these hard times, savings generated by Filipino families from power costs could be spent on other basic needs such as food and education."

He added, "To sustain growth and manage the environmental impacts, it is imperative that we put in place an enabling environment to promote clean development. The future is in clean renewable energy, which is predicted to be one of the biggest industries in the next five years.

"The benefits of renewable energy use are considerable: it will foster sustainable growth, energy independence and economic security for the country, and unite us with the global effort to stop climate change."

The veteran legislator cited the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011, a joint study by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Frankfurt School's Collaborating Centre for Climate and Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

According to the study, worldwide government-led research and development rose by 120 percent, with wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy as the most popular fields. A record US$211billion was channeled into renewable energy projects, a full third higher than the investments in 2009.

In Asia, there was a recorded increase of 31 percent in government investment totaling to US$4 billion. Meanwhile, Thailand led the ASEAN region in terms of "green" spending.

"These numbers reflect the fact that developing countries such as the Philippines are more than ready to embrace this emerging industry. We must take advantage of this increasing interest in green technology from the private sector worldwide to advance our own industry," said Angara, who is a long-time advocate of switching to renewable energy.

Angara explained that renewable energy options appear to be tailor-made for the Philippines because of its abundance in natural, sustainable resources for power generation.

"Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, renewable energy is much more suited to developing countries because projects may be pursued as small-scale enterprises by small-to-medium sized companies," explained Angara.

Angara, who also heads the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), authored the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (RA 9513).

News Latest News Feed