Better prospects for country’s energy future

It has been said time and again that to protect Filipino consumers from high energy prices caused by external volatilities, we have to develop our own energy sources.

The war between Russia and Ukraine just proved how vulnerable we are as soaring fuel prices affected, not just energy costs, but also the prices of basic commodities in the country.

Our major indigenous energy source, the Malampaya gas field that accounts for over 20 percent of Luzon power requirements, has a shelf life. It is not infinite and thus will eventually expose us even more to imported fuel, the price of which is hard to predict and is dictated by global market forces. We do not have control over that.

These, among other issues, just prove that we need to continue boosting the country’s supply not only to avoid capacity lack, but also to ensure that consumers and our economy will somehow be shielded should power prices escalate.

Leaders in the energy sector have always talked about this need and encouraged investors to put up more power plants. While there are many I am sure who would want to invest, challenges on policy implementation still remain.

I’m glad though that our new Energy Secretary Perpetuo “Popo” Lotilla made it clear recently that we can expect nothing less than a close cooperation between the agencies in the energy family, as well as all the industry stakeholders.

Acknowledging that close collaboration plays a very important role, Secretary Lotilla clearly stated that the DoE will respect the independence of these agencies, notably the Energy Regulatory Commission, and work hand-in-hand to find the balance that will help us secure the country’s energy future.

The ERC, he said, “has a full understanding of the factors that need to be taken into account in order to ensure that there will be a steady stream of investments.”

Prospects for the energy sector are indeed looking brighter under the current administration, with key agencies led by the right people who have the competency, expertise, and experience that will certainly help effectively address the challenges we’ve been facing for years.

In the end, a harmonious relationship in the industry will result in progress that will benefit the Filipino consumers and the country in the long run. With Secretary Lotilla at the helm, given his experience and technical expertise, things are indeed looking brighter for the entire energy industry.

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