Press Release
September 24, 2018

Senate backs creation of energy research and policy institute for Phl

The Senate approved today on third and final reading a bill seeking to establish the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI) to help address policy gaps and push reforms in the energy sector that will directly benefit Filipinos.

Senate Bill No. 1574, or the "Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute Act of 2018," was sponsored by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy. The measure was passed with 18 affirmative votes, no negative vote and zero abstention.

"It is my sincere belief that the development of a stable, affordable, and sustainable energy supply would be critical to meeting the country's ambitious long term socio-economic goals. The research output of the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute in turn, would be essential to turning this vision into a reality," Gatchalian said.

According to Gatchalian, the proposed Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI) will "serve as an independent body which will undertake multidisciplinary research, explore and develop cutting edge technologies, and provide autonomous policy output for the benefit of private and public energy players alike."

"Essentially, PERPI will be a think-tank, a laboratory, an innovation incubator, and a sparring partner of the government energy policy apparatus, all in one," he said.

Under the bill, the PERPI will be attached to the University of the Philippines and will be headed by an executive director who is "a recognized expert in energy policy and research development."

In particular, Gatchalian said PERPI would conduct research and provide technical assistance and guidance "backed by rigorous empirical evidence to government offices on energy policy issues."

"PERPI will be charged with ensuring that the results of its energy research and policy development activities are used to craft energy sector reforms for the benefit of the national economy and the lives of the Filipino people," he said.

Gatchalian said the PERPI would undertake efforts to "enhance the masters and doctoral pool of researchers and faculty in the field of energy" and to provide common research support facilities for the said researchers.

The institute, he said, would also "promote collaborative and multidisciplinary energy research" among private, public and academic stakeholders and would establish links with local and international energy experts.

If passed into law, Gatchalian said that the PERPI would be allocated an annual budget of P200 million to be further supplemented by an Endowment Fund to power the institute's research.

Gatchalian said the proposed PERPI was inspired by similar energy think-tanks such as the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy, the Cornell Energy Institute, Stanford's Precourt Institute for Energy, Boston University's Institute for Sustainable Energy, and the Energy Institute of the University of Michigan, among others.

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