DOE budget: Just preparing PH to tap nuclear energy
With President Rodrigo Duterte giving no explicit approval to tap nuclear sources of energy, the Senate finance subcommittee asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to detail what would be covered by the P97 million it was asking for next year’s budget.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who chaired the panel’s hearing on the DOE budget, noted that the agency was given P48 million in 2019 for nuclear-related studies. The DOE, he said, must submit a detailed explanation on how the money was spent and what it would do with the P97 million it was asking for 2020.
“I agree (that) this is a very complex source of power; we need to undertake many researches. But we need to also have some cutoff whether to pursue (this) or not because we can’t keep on spending almost every year,” Gatchalian said.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the DOE was waiting for the President’s decision on the government’s nuclear policy, which in turn would be supported by a feasibility study by Rusatom Overseas.
The Philippine government recently signed a memorandum of intent with the Russian state company on the possibility of bringing nuclear energy to the Philippines.
“There is no explicit approval that we go nuclear. What the DOE is doing is just looking at all the alternative sources of energy considering the vulnerability of the country, and what we would like to attain in having energy security,” Cusi told the Senate.
“We are just preparing the country (and checking) if we can put nuclear in our energy mix,” Cusi added.
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