The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill creating a world-class think tank meant to bridge research and policy gaps in the Philippine energy sector, in hopes of fostering greater energy security, sustainability, and affordability in the country.
Senate Bill No. 1574, also known as the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI) Act of 2018, sailed through the Senate on Monday after gaining overwhelming support from lawmakers. The counterpart measure is still pending in the House of Representatives.
“Finally, we are now one step closer to having our very own world-class think tank that will stand at the forefront of Philippine energy research and policy development,” said Gatchalian, who serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and is also the principal author and sponsor of SB 1574.
“As a publicly-funded institute, PERPI will be in charge of ensuring that the results of its research and policy development activities are used to craft energy sector reforms for the benefit of the national economy and the welfare of the Filipino people,” the senator added.
SB 1574 mandates the establishment of the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute at the University of the Philippines.
PERPI, which is inspired by similar international energy think tanks hosted by top American universities, will be tasked to conduct multidisciplinary energy research, incubate and develop cutting edge technologies, and serve as the sparring partner for the government during the energy policy-making process.
Currently, there is no government entity providing all the services envisioned to be provided by PERPI.
PERPI’s research and policy direction and priorities shall be determined by an Advisory Council and implemented by the Executive Director. As an attached agency of the country’s national university, the UP President will be given the authority to appoint the Executive Director based on the recommendation of the Advisory Council.
The bill appropriates P200 million for the initial funding of the think tank. An Endowment Fund will also be established to further power the institute’s research.
“More than ever, the Philippines needs to develop a stable, affordable, and sustainable energy supply, as this will be critical to meeting the country’s ambitious long term socio-economic goals. I firmly believe that the PERPI Act will empower us to meet these goals and help us build a stronger and more prosperous future for our nation,” Gatchalian said.