Senate Bill No. 1296 / Committee Report No. 34
AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE PHILIPPINE ENERGY RESEARCH AND POLICY INSTITUTE, DEFINING ITS OBJECTIVES, POWERS AND FUNCTIONS, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
January 27, 2020 at 3 o’clock in the afternoon Session Hall, Senate of the Philippines, Pasay City
Delivered by Hon. Win Gatchalian, Senator of the Republic:
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, a pleasant afternoon to you all.
During the time I served as the Chair of the Senate Energy Committee of the 17th Congress, I had the privilege of studying the best case practices of well-performing energy sectors in developed countries across the world. One element they had in common was the presence of academe-based energy institutes.
Energy is one of the most research-intensive fields within the public policy arena, characterized by rapidly evolving technologies which redefine the parameters of the game at a blistering pace. Institutes such as the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy of Stanford University, the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore at the National University of Singapore, and the Energy Institute at Haas Berkeley in the University of California Berkeley engage in research and development, training and education, and policy development. These independent, multidisciplinary, and collaborative institutions serve as the backbone for innovation and progress in the energy sectors of their host countries. These institutes play essential roles in the field of energy by contributing to knowledge creation and industry development, disseminating policy recommendations backed by rigorous empirical evidence, and training the students of today to become the key decision makers of tomorrow.
Unfortunately, no such institute exists in the Philippines at the present. Hence, Mr. President, the bill I am sponsoring today – Senate Bill No. 1296 under committee report 34 – seeks to establish the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute or PERPI. PERPI will perform critical research and policy development, and capacity building work to steer the Philippine energy sector towards greater energy security, equity, and sustainability. We envision PERPI to stand at the forefront of Philippine energy research and policy development, as an institution solely devoted to these pursuits.
To be established at the country’s national university, the University of the Philippines PERPI will serve as an independent body which will undertake multidisciplinary research, explore and develop cutting-edge technologies, and provide autonomous and objective policy output for the benefit of private and public energy players alike. PERPI will be a think-tank, a laboratory, an innovation incubator, and a sparring partner of the government energy policy apparatus, all in one. As a publicly-funded institute, PERPI will be charged with ensuring that the results of its energy research and policy development activities can be utilized to craft energy sector reforms for the benefit of the national economy and the lives of the Filipino people.
To achieve the worthy motivations for its establishment, PERPI will exercise the following functions:
Number one, formulate and conduct research and development on energy, energy technology, public policy issues in energy markets, and other pressing issues and problems all backed by rigorous empirical evidence,
Number two, Establish linkages with government agencies, other universities, and private and public institutions on existing energy research and policy studies,
Number three, Establish research and policy development programs and capacity building trainings on energy,
Number four, Enhance the masters and doctoral pool of researchers and faculty in the field of energy,
Number five, Establish local and foreign linkages in energy research and policy development, and
Seven, serve as the repository of all energy-related researches, studies, and data to be generated by the Institute and other academic, public, and private groups, organizations, and institutions.
Mr. President, the functions of the Institute will be carried out by an illustrious team of seasoned academicians and energy sector professionals under the direction of a full-time Executive Director, who will be a recognized expert in energy policy and research development. Further guidance will be given by the Executive Board, composed primarily of representatives from the academe and the private sector from the fields of engineering, law, science, statistics, economics, and public health.
To fund PERPI’s research, a special account for energy research shall be established, which will recognize and accept grants, contributions, and donations for such purpose, while PERPI’s operations shall be initially funded through a budget of one hundred million pesos.
Mr. President, it is my sincere belief that the development of a stable, affordable, and sustainable energy supply will 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, will be essential to turning this vision into a reality.
With this in mind, Mr. President, distinguished peers, I urge you to support the passage of this legislation.
Thank you Mr. President. Maraming salamat po.