Take advantage of RE growth in PH, PBBM urges Brunei’s energy sector

MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. called on energy business leaders of Brunei to invest in Philippine renewable energy (RE) as the country is making progress in the very promising sector.

The Chief Executive made the invitation on Wednesday before business leaders in the energy sector in Brunei where he cited the efforts of the Philippine government to develop other sources of energy and minimize use of fossil fuels.

“We now add to this the transformation of fossil fuels to renewables which is, I think, something that everyone is having to deal with,” President Marcos said. “I’m sure everyone is aware, the Philippines is now trying to transform our whole energy from the production side to the transmission side, to the distribution side,” he added.

In previous years, the President said, the energy sector is divided into three — the production side, the transmission, and the distribution at the local level. “And that’s why we tried to open up some sources. We have our own source but we need to further develop and explore some of the potential gas fuels that are in the Philippines,” he said.

The President said there are “geopolitical concerns” to consider, where some of the huge gas and oil deposits are located in “conflict areas” of the West Philippine Sea. “That’s why we are trying to diversify our suppliers. And hopefully we take to heart the lessons that we learned during the pandemic when supply chains suddenly were shown to be more vulnerable, much more vulnerable than we had imagined,” he said.

President Marcos attended the meeting on Wednesday in the sidelines of his two-day state visit in Brunei. He discussed the direction the Philippines is heading in terms of energy sector development.

He said one of the problems of potential investors in the Philippines is the cost of power and energy. “And there are many aspects to that problem. Our transmission system which has fallen behind in terms of development, and in terms of even their contractual obligations to the government in terms of building additional transmission lines. But we are working very hard on that,” President Marcos said.

“I think we’ve come up with some solutions with the sovereign fund getting involved in that. So we hope to put additional capital into the system so that we can accelerate the production [and] the putting up of the towers and the transmission lines,” he added.

President Marcos told the forum the government is trying to strengthen the whole system of power availability . “[We] are all doing this with the understanding that any form of industrialization of economic development requires an increase in — number one, the actual availability of power,” he said.

Secondly, the cost of it and the efficiency in which this is distributed, the President added.

“We are just suffering the after effects of a typhoon. And immediately the power systems in those areas that were hit by the typhoon once again had to be turned off. And we are now slowly having to bring it back because we have to make sure that lines are still in good shape,” President Marcos said. (PND)

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