Press Release
August 12, 2019

Recto pushes for solar power systems in all government buildings

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph G. Recto made formal his proposal to have all government buildings and offices utilize solar energy system, in a bid to reduce utility costs and mandate the development of renewable energy (RE) resources.

Senate Bill No. 48 or the proposed Solar Energy in National Government Offices Act requires the establishment of solar energy system that will have the capacity to supply 50 percent of the electric power requirements of government offices within a period of five years.

Initially, the solar energy systems sought to be established by Recto is aimed at supplying 10 percent of the power supply of government offices or buildings on the first year of the effectivity of the measure.

It shall gradually increase annually for five years until it has reached the capacity to supply 50 percent of the power requirements of all government offices and buildings.

The measure, Recto emphasized, does not preclude the expansion of existing solar energy systems installed in government buildings and offices.

Construction of solar energy systems in government buildings and offices shall begin within 60 days after the bill has been enacted into law, he said.

Expenses to be incurred shall be charged against any available funds of the government agencies and the subsequent funding requirements shall be included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA), the senator said.

The bill seeks to mandate the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), in coordination with the Department of Energy (DOE), to construct RE systems in and retrofit government buildings and offices, by installing solar energy systems.

Solar energy, Recto said, is the most abundant RE resource that can be installed to generate power at a faster rate unlike fossil fuel-based power plants which require a minimum three to five years of gestation period.

"Also, it will not affect our foreign currency reserves as imported petroleum and other fossil fuels do," said Recto.

Furthermore, the senator said that the production and installation of materials and equipment for use in solar energy systems incur minimal environmental and physical impacts.

"Solar energy systems do not require extraction activities like large-scale mining or drilling which bring about negative environmental impacts. It does not generate Greenhouse Gases such as carbon and methane nor emit particulates that are the bane of fossil fuels," he said.

"Most important, solar panels can be installed on rooftops and designated areas without disrupting activities or dislocating electric power consumers. It can also generate substantial savings versus fossil-fueled power plants whose feed stocks have to be transported over long distances for which generators incur transport or hauling costs," Recto added.

SB 48 is also seen to create employment opportunities and enhanced skills of those in the RE industry as it will push their competitive edge worldwide, the senator said.

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