In the 48th episode of the Usapang Human Development Series, the panelists will discuss about the transition of the country to renewable energy (RE) as a sequel to UHD’s Episode 46: “Mas Malinis na Enerhiya, Ngayon na!“. The episode aims to address gaps in transitioning to RE and consolidate plans of the House of Representatives to forge renewable energy bills in the 19th Congress.
The panelists present during the episode are Mr. Lorenzo Cortez from the House Committee on Energy, Mr. Jephraim Manansala from the Institute of Climate Sustainable Cities, and PLCPD Executive Director Mr. Rom Dongeto.
Mr. Cortes noted that 33% of the country’s current energy supply is a product of renewable energy. He also shared that during the 18th Congress, Chairman of House Committee on Energy Chairman Rep. Mike Arroyo filed the House Resolution 2361 – pushing for transition to renewable energy source in the Philippines by 50% in 2030. He then mentioned another bill filed by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez for the creation of Philippine Renewable Energy Commission. As the 19th Congress opens, Mr. Cortes stated that new bills will be filed by newly elected lawmakers and by the end of July or early August, advocates can already campaign for RE bills and resolutions.
Meanwhile, Mr. Manansala explained that more than 50% of Philippines’ energy source comes from coal because of the ‘volatility or price change’ resulting to skyrocketing prices of energy and coal. The price of coal even went almost 5 times higher during pandemic that reflects in electricity, oil, and gasoline costs. Since the country is 90% dependent on imported coal energy, the price of coal is gravely impacted by the world market.
Mr. Dongeto shared a positive remark on the viability of renewable energy bills supported in the 19th Congress. He mentioned that since almost 56% of the Congress are neophytes or first-time elected lawmakers, advocates have big opportunities to persuade them to champion RE bills.
Notable programs that help fasten the country’s transition to RE were also mentioned such as Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop that eases the process of the construction of infrastructures for renewable energy, and Department of Agriculture’s implementation of the concept of Productive Uses of Renewable Energy (PURE).
Lastly, Mr. Manansala assured that the Philippines is on track to achieving its 2030 goal based on DOE’s Philippine Energy Plan, that the country will transition to RE by 35% and 50% in 2040. Currently the country is at 21%. DOE will continue to implement the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) mandating the participants in the market to increase their energy source by 2.52 shares.
Mr. Francis Dela Cruz of ICSC and Mr. Rio Magpayo, Advocacy and Partnerships Officer of PLCPD are hosts of the episode.