Senator Win Gatchalian is asserting the need for strong government support in harnessing the full potential of the country’s indigenous energy resources to build a stable and sustainable supply of affordable electricity.
Gatchalian, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, said the promotion of local energy resources as a primary source of power is strategic in strengthening the future of the Philippine energy sector.
Towards this end, the senator revealed that he is now drafting legislation which will mandate the priority procurement of power produced from indigenous resources in small power utilities group (SPUG) areas.
“This bill is still in the works…I am excited to file it when it’s ready,” Gatchalian told members of the National Geothermal Association of the Philippines (NGAP) during its 14th Annual General Assembly Meeting on Thursday (July 20).
The proposed ‘Indigenous Energy Resources Prioritization Act’ will, among others, require distribution utilities and electric cooperatives in SPUG areas to prioritize the procurement and dispatch of electricity generated by indigenous sources, such as that produced by geothermal plants, before contracting with plants powered by foreign diesel and other external fuels.
Gatchalian vowed he would start working on the proposed measure as soon as it is ready for committee discussions, stressing that “the development of indigenous energy sources, especially renewables such as wind, solar, hydro and geothermal, insulates the Philippines from supply shocks due to external events around the globe.
“With indigenous energy sources, we are in control of the stability and security of our own energy supply. Essentially, indigenous energy promotes Philippine energy independence,” he said.