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House creates special panel on nuclear energy

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House creates special panel on nuclear energy
The creation of the new committee is in line with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s call to “re-examine” the country’s strategy for building nuclear power plants during his State of the Nation Address delivered two weeks ago. The motion to create the panel on Tuesday was made by no less than his son, Rep. Sandro Marcos (Ilocos Norte).
House of Representatives handout photo

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Tuesday established a special committee that will focus on creating measures related to nuclear energy — from developing infrastructure for nuclear power plants to ensuring that it cost competitive. 

The lower house elected Rep. Mark Cojuangco (Pangasinan) as the chairperson of the 25-member Special Committee on Nuclear Energy.

Lawmakers also amended the jurisdiction of the existing Committee on Energy to explicitly state that nuclear energy, its sources, and infrastructures will be beyond its jurisdiction. 

The newly established committee will be in charge of handling “all matters directly and principally relating to the policies and programs to the production, utilization, and conservation of nuclear energy, including the development of nuclear power infrastructure.” 

It will also tackle the “interaction of other energy sources with nuclear energy as a reliable, cost competitive, and environment-friendly energy source to ensure energy security consistent with the national interest and the State’s policy of freedom from nuclear weapons. 

Cojuangco also promised that the committee will “do its part” in promoting awareness of the efficiency and benefits of nuclear energy.

The creation of the new committee is in line with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s call to “re-examine” the country’s strategy for building nuclear power plants during his State of the Nation Address delivered two weeks ago. The motion to create the panel on Tuesday was made by no less than his son, Rep. Sandro Marcos (Ilocos Norte).  

Marcos Jr. has been pushing for the adaptation of renewable energy and nuclear energy in the country, promising compliance with the regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency. 

The chief executive hopes to look into private-public partnerships to fund this initiative. 

The Philippines is currently looking for other sources of energy as the Malampaya gas field, which powers much of the country’s energy needs, is expected to be depleted by 2027. 

Groups have advocated to expand the use of renewables in its energy mix but the country has been scaling up the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and terminals on top of its new push for nuclear alongside this.

They say that the push toward LNG and nuclear energy as part of the country's strategy makes it “distracted and unsound” as investments on the capital-intensive gas-powered facilities that are also difficult to discard would prevent the country from shifting to renewable energy.

ENERGY

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

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