Press Release
August 30, 2016

Koko: Change is a better quality of life for all Filipinos

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said that he expects "the Philippine economy to take off in a trajectory never seen before" after President Rodrigo Duterte successfully addresses the country's law and order issues. This, he explained to the delegates of the IAEA Conference on the Prospects for Nuclear Power in the Asia-Pacific Region, is the Change that is coming under the Duterte administration.

In his welcome address, Koko welcomed the delegates to a "new, bold, and daring Philippines" led by the "unconventional" President Duterte. He described himself as a political lieutenant of the President who is, like the President, willing, ready, and able to think outside the box to pursue new solutions to the age-old problems of Philippine society.

He discussed the need for an economy which is powered by clean, cheap, and reliable sources of energy so that Filipinos can enjoy modern conveniences without sacrificing the purity of the environment. For him, this meant openness to alternatives to fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas.

Koko expressed hope that the conference would help the country decide on the adoption of nuclear power in the country, especially since the Philippines is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Recognizing both the rich potential and the possibility of serious negative consequences in the use of nuclear power, he welcomed a debate on the matter based on scientific evidence instead of political and ideological considerations. In the keynote address of the conference, DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi noted that more than half of the Philippines' energy needs are taken from fossil fuel sources.

The conference was convened to discuss the viability of using nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels. It is sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in cooperation with the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC). It was attended by delegates from all over the Asia-Pacific region.

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