A veteran in the field with a long-term vision for the country’s energy security. This, Senator Win Gatchalian said, should be the qualification of the country’s next Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE).
“Having been at the helm of the Senate Energy Committee for the past six years, I can say that the next DOE secretary should have the following qualities: long term vision, technical knowledge, commitment to energy transition, experience and unquestionable integrity,” he said.
Armed with such credentials, such a person for the job is expected to be a proactive leader at the forefront of the energy sector who can steer government policies that will shield the country from external shocks, Gatchalian added.
In setting a long-term vision, Gatchalian said the incoming DOE chief is expected to be knowledgeable not only about the technical but finance and legal aspects as well, especially given the complex industry now undergoing rapid transformation.
“Based on my experience, expertise on the matters concerning the energy industry should be of utmost consideration in choosing the appointee, especially in a highly technical industry. Energy is not an ordinary sector. You need some level of experience. It’s a difficult sector with numerous intricacies that you have to learn first in order to push for reforms to transform the industry,” the senator explained.
Energy transition is inevitable as the entire world is moving towards such a direction, electrifying everything from cars to other things and opting for renewable resources as their prices are rapidly dropping. And as such, the department should continue with the transition process, he added.
“We need to follow these trends globally and if not, mapag-iiwanan tayo,” said Gatchalian.
Needless to say, Gatchalian further said that experience and unquestionable integrity are top qualifications for the post.
“The job of the DOE is to forecast supply, demand, pricing and global trends. Our country is very susceptible to supply and demand as well as global prices because we import 99% of our oil. Malampaya is depleting and there are other pressing concerns. The job now of the DOE is to come up with solutions ahead of time. We have enacted many laws in response to the emerging trends but if the leadership of the department is not appreciative of reforms and needed changes, then we’ll be doing the same things over and over again,” he ended.