MANILA, Philippines — Senatorial aspirant and Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero said he is open to tapping all possible power sources, including nuclear energy, provided they are safe and economical.
In a senatorial forum hosted by CNN Philippines on Sunday night, Escudero said he is in favor of exploring all options in developing a long-term energy agenda for the Philippines to ensure that the country gets the best suitable, sustainable and safest power source available.
“Neutral ako sa teknolohiya. Technology neutral pero ang importante lamang na ligtas ito, kayang bayaran ang sambayanang Pilipino at makakatugon sa problema, sa krisis, enerhiya ng ating bansa,” Escudero said when asked about the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).
(I am neutral when it comes to technology. I am technology-neutral but what is important is it is safe, Filipinos will be able to pay for it, and it will be able to respond to the energy crisis in the country.)
Escudero, however, stressed that the experts should be consulted on whether it would be better to rehabilitate the BNPP or just establish a new one.
“Alin ba ang mas mura? Alin ba ang mas ligtas? Alin ba ang mas abot-kaya para sa ating mga kababayan?” Escudero said.
(Which is cheaper? Which is safer? Which is more affordable for the Filipinos?)
“Hindi natin dapat limitahan sa partikular na opinyon o diskriminasyon ang puwedeng pagkukunan natin ng kuryente. Nitong nagdaang limang taon walang dagdag na kapasidad sa generating capacity ng bansa,” he added.
(We should not limit ourselves to a particular opinion or discrimination regarding energy sources. Over the past five years, we failed to add new generating capacity.)
Escudero said the failure of the government to build power plants and add new generating capacity to the grid for half a decade is a significant contributor to the current state of the country’s energy situation.
Aside from exploring options, Escudero said the next administration should also have a concrete plan addressing the projected depletion of the Malampaya gas field off Palawan in 2027 to avert an energy crisis.
“Ngayon pa lamang kung ang tinatayang shortage ay mangyayari sa taong 2027, ang bagong pangulo ay dapat tutukan ang pagkakaroon ng mga bagong planta upang sa gayon bago pa man dumating ang pagkukulang ng kuryente ay mayroon na tayong pagkukunan ng panibagong source,” Escudero said.
(As early as now, with the projected shortage happening in 2027, the new president should focus on having a new power plan so that we will have a new energy source when the shortage comes.)