Press Release
August 30, 2016

Welcome Statement of Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel
IAEA Conference
On the Prospects for Nuclear Power in the Asia-Pacific Region
August 30, 2016

A pleasant good morning to all of you, most especially my good friend and party mate Secretary Alfonso Cusi of the Department of Energy; to Philippine Ambassador to Austria, Her Excellency Ambassador Zenaida Collinson, who is our overall Chairperson; also to the representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC), and to the guests and participants of this conference from all over the Asia Pacific Region!

Once again, Mabuhay at Magandang Umaga po sa inyong lahat.

Welcome to a new, bold, and daring Philippines! We have a new and unconventional President, who won on the program of government for Change. Fortunately, assisting the President are his political lieutenants and supporters, who, like him, are willing, ready, and able to think outside of the box to pursue new solutions to the age-old problems of Philippine society.

Because of this willingness, we are now going to tackle quality of life issues for all Filipinos.

One factor contributing immensely to a high or desirable quality of life is the availability of power and its cost, both to the consumer and to the environment.

After President Rodrigo Duterte successfully addresses our Law and Order issues, we expect the Philippine economy to take off in a trajectory never seen before. That is the Change that is coming.

We want an economy which is powered by clean, cheap, and reliable sources of energy to be part of that Change. We want our countrymen and future generations to enjoy modern conveniences without sacrificing the purity of the environment.

Hence, our willingness to search for alternatives to fossil fuel.

One alternative is nuclear power. Nuclear power offers so much potential. Many countries have benefitted from it. But it can also have very serious negative consequences, especially in a country located in what is called the Pacific Ring of Fire. Hence, we must study nuclear power carefully.

Our conclusions must be based on scientific evidence and not on political or ideological considerations.

You are here to discuss the prospects for nuclear power in the Asia Pacific Region. Thank you for choosing the Philippines as your venue. This conference will surely start a debate on the desirability of nuclear power here in our country which can only be beneficial to us as we will be educated on the pros and cons of nuclear power.

And whatever be the outcome of your conference, we will all be the beneficiaries. For we would have shown that Change is here. We now have open minds. Nuclear power is a possibility. And we know that finding alternatives to fossil fuel is a necessity. We can only end up advancing the quality of life of all mankind.

Let us use our Kokote and welcome the Change that is coming, because we are that Change and we are going to make it happen!

Once again, welcome to the Philippines and enjoy your conference. Thank you very much, and mabuhay!

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