The Philippines depends upon imported fuel and when prices go up it causes great difficulties especially for jeepney drivers and the like whose fares are regulated and the government is often reluctant to raise fares because of public outcry but not raising them causes jeepney strikes!
This bill sounds quite good. I am not sure that the Philippines has done much on wind energy.
Reyes, Zubiri want early passage of Renewable Energy Bill
Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes and Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri on Saturday called for the early passage of the Renewal Energy bill in Congress as world oil prices continue to surge to record levels.
Reyes said the passage of the bill would expedite the development of the country’s vast reserves of renewable energy such as geothermal, hydro, wind and solar power as well as biomass.
"I’m certain that the members of Congress are acutely aware of the importance of this bill and that’s why I’m certain that efforts will be done to rush it," said Reyes.
Zubiri for his part said he will push for the quick passage of the Renewable Energy bill at the Senate in light of increasing oil prices in the world market.
We are trying to push for a December approval of the Renewable Energy bill at least on second reading. We will try, it’s going to be difficult," said Zubiri who was the principal author of the bill in the Senate even as others were still skeptical of its need.
"I was telling people that there will be a time that gas will go high, our opponents say it will never happen and now it is happening," said the neophyte senator.
To underscore the need to increase energy independence, President Arroyo is pushing for the speedy passage of the bill.
The chief executive made the call in her speech during the recent inauguration of Shell group’s compressed natural gas (CNG) pilot project which is also considered as part of the government’s program to promote the use of renewable energy sources, not only in power but also in the transport sector.
"Two years from now, all fossil gasoline fuel actually sold and distributed by every oil company in the Philippines shall contain a minimum of five percent bio-ethanol blend. And now, especially that we have this pilot on natural gas, we call on Congress to pass urgent legislation on the development and promotion of renewable energy sources with a Renewable Energy Bill," Arroyo said.
In a similar note, Reyes, during the recently-concluded National Conference on Climate Change Adaptation in Legazpi City in Albay, said the initiative to mitigate climate change could also hinge on the ability of the country to utilize more renewable energy sources.
"The passage of a renewable energy bill in Congress would be a strategic impetus to raise the share of renewable energy sources to 20 percent of the overall portfolio," he said.
The bill, currently pending in Congress, aims to accelerate the development of the country’s vast reserves of renewable energy such as geothermal, hydro, wind, solar, and biomass by providing, among others, attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to encourage clean energy projects and mechanisms to ensure the priority use of power generated from these resources.
Under the 13th Congress, which ended in June 2007, the bill was passed in third reading by the House of Representatives but only reached committee level approval at the Senate, despite having been certified as urgent by Malacañang in February 2007.
In the recently-opened 14th Congress, 16 versions of the bill have been filed. The bill has been included among 28 priority bills agreed upon by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) in a meeting in Malacañang last Aug. 7.
Malacañang: Beyond our control
Malacañang on Friday reiterated calls to the public to conserve energy, adding that skyrocketing fuel prices is beyond its control.
"The runaway price of oil is beyond the government's control. This serves as a continuing wake up call for all sectors that there are more things to attend to other than relentless politics of personal destruction. More than ever, now is the time to pool our collective patriotic efforts to intensify the search and development of alternative energy sources, as well as provide the appropriate legal environment to accelerate such initiatives," Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said in a statement.
"This also serves as a call to conserve energy in any way we can. Our resilient economy gives us some consolation. Had we still been in a situation where our peso is 56 to a dollar the price of our imports would by now be hitting the roof," he added.