Senator Win Gatchalian vowed to pursue legislation which would ensure the long-term security of the Philippines’ precarious energy supply upon his election as chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy.
“Developing a sustainable and efficient national energy supply is an essential element of accelerating economic growth and development over the next few decades. We have to take action now, before our energy needs outpaces the available supply,” said Gatchalian, who is currently serving his first term as senator.
Gatchalian explained that the Philippines must significantly enhance its energy generation capabilities by tapping new indigenous energy resources found within its waters and land territories.
Accordingly, Gatchalian reiterated his challenge to the Duterte administration to uphold and defend the Philippines’ exclusive rights to the exploration and exploitation of energy resources in the West Philippine Sea following the landmark ruling handed down by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on July 12.
Gatchalian emphasized that the untapped energy resources found within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone must be developed with haste as the Malampaya Natural Gas Facility, the largest power supplier for the island of Luzon, is scheduled to close its doors for good within the next 8 years.
“Defending the West Philippine Sea will be crucial in securing the long-term energy supply of the Philippines and ensuring that our country will finally become an industrialized and developed nation,” said the Senator.
Aside from the energy supply, Gatchalian said he would also conduct a detailed study into options to reduce electricity costs for households and commercial consumers.
“The Philippines has long held the unfortunate distinction of having some of the most expensive electricity rates in the world. We need to finds ways to reduce the cost of electricity in pursuing industrialization and fair rates for households.” (Aureli Sinsuat)