Press Release
December 7, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara proposed that renewable energy sources such as geothermal, wind, ocean, hydropower, solar and biomass be identified collectively as a national strategic resource during a forum held by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) today.

The ECCP Forum on Renewable Energy, themed "Moving Forward with Renewable Energy: Opportunities and Challenges", brought together industry stakeholders and policymakers who discussed the opportunities, challenges and their firsthand experiences in undertaking RE programs in the country.

Angara believes that water, for instance, will be declared a strategic national asset. "We are an archipelago surrounded by water, which is an almost limitless resource and source of potential growth.

"Our RE potential is immense and we must harness this in a way that will bring progress not just to the energy sector, but also to the entire nation," added Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology. "Here is also a way to electrify distant barrios and remote locales, thereby spurring progress in our countryside.

"Right now, we're only using about 37 percent of our RE capacity. The potential output from RE sources not including solar power and biomass is in excess of 261,000 megawatts. Just one percent of that would be enough to power the entire country for 20 years. That's how massive of a resource renewables are," he emphasized.

As the RE industry is still in its nascent stage, Angara said the government will play a critical role in ensuring its development.

"We are one of the first countries in Asia to pass a law on renewable energy. In fact, I believe we have the best RE legislation in the region. However, we do not have the best bureaucracy in charge of execution," lamented Angara, who authored the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (R.A. 9513).

"That is the heart of our developmental malaise. Too many people making rules, too many people involved in making a swift decision," he added.

Angara, who also chairs the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology, and Engineering (COMSTE), encouraged stakeholders to keep pushing for progress in the RE industry.

"Perhaps 2012 will have a better direction for the renewable energy sector, with the combined voices of different groups--government, industry and academe. It is my hope that with your support, we can urge the government to move faster," said Angara.

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