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Nuke way to go

March 8, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 367 views

PRESIDENTIAL candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte have vowed to support and expedite the country’s adoption of nuclear power when they win in the upcoming 2022 polls.

The UniTeam bets were reacting to President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of Executive Order (EO) No. 164, which details the country’s policy on nuclear energy in consonance with the country’s economic, political, social, and environmental goals.

The President signed the EO last Feb. 28, 2022, but it was only made available on Thursday.

The formidable tandem believes that incorporating nuclear power in the Philippines’ energy mix would lower electricity rates and help secure a steady power source.

“The President’s executive order is a good springboard for the next administration to pursue its nuclear energy objectives. Our vision for the country is to have at least one nuclear power plant so we can finally produce cheap energy and for us to lower our electricity rates,” the UniTeam said.

Based on the Department of Energy (DOE) Power Statistics 2020 data, the country’s top power generation sources are coal at 57.2%, natural gas at 19.2%, geothermal at 10.6%, and hydro at 7.1%.

The Philippines currently has the third-highest electricity rate in Asian region at P10/kWh after Japan and Singapore, according to data from 2019.

In a previous radio interview, Marcos stressed the serious need for the country to look into the use of nuclear power and that it should not be politicized.

“We really have to look at nuclear power. ‘Wag natin i-politika [Let’s not politicize it]. Once again, follow the science,” Marcos asserted.

To recall, Marcos also previously said that the government should study a South Korean firm’s offer to rehabilitate the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

“Let’s look at it again. Mayroon tayong BNPP. Mayroon ‘yang tinatawag na mga sister plants kasi Westinghouse ang gumawa dito sa Pilipinas. Mayroon silang ginawa sa Korea na ganun din na pareho,” he said.

“Halos pareho ‘yung design lahat naman ‘yan custom-made pero ‘yung mga basic technologies na gagamitin sa BNPP ginawa nila sa Korea ay napakaganda,” Marcos added.

The 621-megawatt capacity BNPP was supposed to solve the country’s energy deficit problem during the time of former President Ferdinand Marcos but was mothballed by the Aquino administration.

The younger Marcos has also called for the increased use of renewable energy technologies such as wind, solar and geothermal to complement the current power generation sources.

During his tenure as Ilocos Norte governor, the famed Bangui Wind Farm was inaugurated and still supplies the entire province with 40% of its electricity requirements.