Rufus pushes creation of PREC to develop renewable energy

October 13, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 186 views

CAGAYAN de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez has proposed the creation of a government entity that would focus on the development of renewable energy (RE) as reports on the remaining reserves in the Malampaya gas field are about to be “completely depleted” by the first quarter of 2027.

The proposal is contained in House Bill (HB) No. 4205, which seeks the formation of the Philippine Renewable Energy Corp. (PREC).

“It is imperative for the government to take a more active role in assuring [an] adequate supply of electricity with the use of renewable energy sources, thereby reducing the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and [mitigating] the impact of climate change,” Rodriguez said.

He said Congress needs to enact measures that would help ensure a stable, affordable, and reliable supply of electricity to sustain economic growth and enhance the well-being of the nation.

“There is also an urgent need to undertake electrification projects through the development of renewable energy [RE] sources in underserved, unserved, and missionary areas,” Rodriguez said.

The Mindanao lawmaker stressed the necessity of developing new RE projects, citing the warning from Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla of tight electricity supply in the first half of 2023.

“Accelerating existing projects and finding new sources will eventually boost supply,” he said.

RE resources under the Rodriguez bill include biomass, solar, wind, geothermal, ocean energy, and hydropower.

The bill abolishes the Philippine National Oil Corp.-Renewables Corp. (PNOC-RC) and transfers its power, functions, projects, investments, funds, property and other assets, and personnel to the proposed PREC.

The envisioned new entity would also inherit the Agus-Pulangui Hydroelectric Power Plant complex and its facilities, which are currently operated and maintained by the National Power Corp.

The bill provides that the complex, consisting of seven power plants and located along the Agus and Pulangui rivers in Lanao and Bukidnon, shall be exempt from privatization. The plants generate about 1,000 megawatts of electricity.

“The plants shall be retained to generate buffer supply for Mindanao,” Rodriguez said.

The bill proposes the inclusion of P7 billion in the national budget as an initial appropriation for PREC.

Aside from the appropriation, the corporation’s authorized capital shall include all assets it would receive from PNOC-RC and the Agus-Pulangui complex and its facilities.

The new corporation would be governed by a board of directors composed of seven members to be appointed by the President for a term of three years.

The president and CEO of PNOC-RC have supported Bill No. 4205.

“The creation of this chartered GOCC is very timely since it will aid in addressing the rotational brownouts and ultimately, the exploitation and use of renewable resources will reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change,” John Arenas said in a letter to the House energy committee chairman and Rep. Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque.

Arenas said the use of renewable energy is included in the top agenda of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

He said the construction of more RE-powered plans will ultimately benefit the Filipino people in terms of having a stable, reliable, sustainable, affordable, and clean supply of energy.