DBM: No nuke plant budget

It is unlikely that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, built in the 1970s, will be revived during the first year of the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Despite the President’s push to adopt nuclear energy, the Department of Budget and Management announced Wednesday that next year’s expenditure plan did not contain any allocation for the restoration of the $2.3-billion nuclear power plant, which has been dormant since 1986 due to reported safety concerns.

Though completed, the plant was never used.

BNPP was a project of his late father, former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., in response to the oil crisis in 1973 aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on imported oil.

“For the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, we don’t have a budget,” Pangandaman said at a press briefing in Malacañang Palace.

DBM has instead allocated P2.2 billion for the programs of the Department of Energy.

Of the said amount, P476 million will be used for its programs on Renewable Energy Development, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, and Alternative Fuels and Technologies.

Marcos Jr., in his first State of the Nation Address, said reiterated his campaign promise of building new power plants to lower the price of electricity for consumers — his campaign promise.

“At present, our demand for energy far exceeds our reliable supply. We must increase the level of energy production,” Marcos said in his SoNA on 25 July.

“We must look at every possible option that would be appropriate for the Philippine situation. There is some room to expand our present power supply through existing power sources, but this is only to a very limited extent, he added. “We must build new power plants. We must take advantage of all the best technology that is now available, especially in the areas of renewable energy.”

The President is open to new power sources, specifically looking into the energy mix supply between traditional and renewable sources.

“The technology on renewable energy is progressing rapidly, and many of these technologies are appropriate for the Philippines,” he said.

Cheaper and more reliable energy in the country, he said, would attract more foreign and local investors. He said this would result in more employment opportunities for Filipinos.

He also pushed for the transition to renewable energy to mitigate the repercussions of climate change on the country.

“We will increase our use of renewable energy sources such as hydropower, geothermal, solar and wind,” he added.

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