Gov’t urged: Expedite renewable energy projects

A lawmaker on Friday is urging the government to expedite the establishment of renewable energy projects in the country that would help to lessen the country’s vulnerability to worldwide oil price shocks after the mega increase last Tuesday.

Senator Risa Hontiveros — a prominent proponent of renewable energy — made the statement following local oil companies’ announcements of price rises for diesel, gasoline, and kerosene as a result of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ drastic production reduction.

“In one major oil firm, the prices went up by as much as P6.85 for diesel, P1.20 for gasoline, and P3.50 for kerosene, reversing the impact of small price rollbacks in previous weeks,” Hontiveros said.

She claimed that the current state of affairs demonstrates how vulnerable the country is to shocks in the price of oil and if nothing is altered, it will always be at the whim of the market and its most influential players.

“The government’s action cannot be just price monitoring. We need to speed up the rollout of renewable energy projects that will benefit our countrymen,” Hontiveros said.

To recall, Cagayan de Oro Second District Representative Rufus Rodriguez on Thursday pushed for the establishment of the Philippine Renewable Energy Corp. which will focus on renewable energy that is seen to minimize the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and the adverse effects of climate change.

Rodriguez said there is also an urgent need to undertake electrification projects by developing renewable energy sources in underserved, unserved, and missionary areas.

Likewise, it is also crucial that the government play a more active role in ensuring an adequate electricity supply through renewable energy sources.

Hontiveros, meanwhile, had the same sentiment and said that by investing more in renewable energy projects such as solar, offshore wind, small and medium hydroelectric, and geothermal, the country would significantly reduce our reliance on imported oil.

According to the senator, the recent oil price hike should serve as a wake-up call that the country’s current setup of importing oil for its energy needs is unsustainable and anti-consumer.

She added that the government should tap into the wealth of indigenous resources for its energy needs to break the vicious cycle of reliance on imported oil.

Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, meanwhile, acknowledged the proposal and agreed on the importance of implementing changes that will promote investments in local renewable energy projects and technologies during a recent hearing on the yearly budget of the Department of Energy and affiliated agencies.

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