Press Release
April 28, 2009


Proposes subsidy for the renewable energy development in the Philippines

Senator Edgardo J. Angara proposed to subsidize renewable energy development in an attempt to cut the costs on traditional sources of energy and help address economic and environmental issues.

"As the consumption of the traditional sources of energy, such as coal, oil and natural gas grow at an increasing rate, the possibility of depletion is not far from the question. While the world demand for energy increases and the supply diminishes, one could simply surmise that energy prices would basically surge. This poses a serious threat not only to the marginalized sector but to all the other sectors, as well, including the financial and environmental sector," said Angara who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance.

He added, "To sustain growth and manage environmental impacts, it is imperative that we put in place an enabling environment to promote clean development including renewable energy."

Senator Angara, who sponsored RP's RE law, proposed to subsidize the renewable energy development through amending one of the provisions in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act or otherwise known as the EPIRA law.

Under the EPIRA law, there is a provision pertaining to the universal charge that serves as an additional payment by the end users or electric consumers apart from their main electric bill. One of the purposes of this charge pertains to the missionary electrification.

According to the amendment proposed by Angara, "50% of the allocation for missionary electrification shall be utilized to subsidize renewable energy development which shall include but not limited to research, exploration, promotion and utilization of RE systems and technologies."

The Philippine government has already expressed its strong support for the development of renewable energy. President Gloria Macapagal - Arroyo has already signed into law RP's RE policy - Republic Act No. 9513 - otherwise known as "An Act Promoting the Development, Utilization and Commercialization of Renewable Energy Resources and for Other Purposes" on December 16, 2008.

Previous issuances have also expressed RP's strong commitment to clean development, Executive Order 215 for instance paved the way for the commercialization of independent renewable energy power projects.

Also, the Mini-Hydro Law was designed to serve as a vehicle for the purchase of power from mini-hydro power plants and to commercialize other renewables for power generation.

Furthermore, the Renewable Energy Power Program or REPP was designed to provide up to P750 million in financing for IPP projects using solar, wind, biomass and small hydro resources. In 1997, EO 462 was enacted to enable private sector participation in the development and commercialization of ocean, solar and wind.

"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," added Angara.

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