January 17, 2012
PHL DELEGATION TO INT'L FORUM PROPOSES RENEWABLE
The Philippine delegation to the 20th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) held in Tokyo, Japan from Jan. 8-12 urged member countries to work hand in hand in promoting sustainable development particularly on food and energy security.
The delegation, led by Senator Franklin M. Drilon joined by Senator Edgardo J. Angara, cited data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) showing that world energy needs to grow by 55 percent between 2005-2030 to meet global economic growth, or about 17.7 billion tons of oil equivalent.
While the Asian region has been investing heavily in renewable energy (RE) initiatives, the Philippines only utilized 33.25 percent of its RE potential as of 2010.
Based on studies, the country's 260,000-megawatt renewable energy potential can provide its entire energy requirement for the next 13 to 15 years without relying on natural gas, coal and oil-based sources.
Angara backed up the proposal, emphasizing its direct link to food security and poverty reduction. "Shifting toward renewable energy is crucial not only in harnessing sustainable energy, but also in ensuring adequate food supply for everyone.
"Currently, 70 percent of the poor still live in the rural areas. Most of them are dependent on agriculture and agriculture-related industries for their jobs and incomes," he explained. "By making rural areas independent from urban centers in terms of energy supply, we will promote steady and stable development across the countryside."
Angara, who earlier called for regional cooperation in disaster risk management, further explained, "Even disaster recovery can be sped up in areas by pre-positioning RE-powered water filtering systems in remote communities during calamities."
Citing the example of Japan, he also earlier urged countries to invest in productive aging for senior citizens through institutes such as the proposed Philippine Institute for Ageing, and expressed support for liberalized trade in the region, following the successful Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) model.
The APPF is an annual conference that brings together parliamentarians from the Asia-Pacific region to discuss regional politics and security, economy and trade, and inter-regional cooperation. It is hosted this year by the National Diet of Japan. Next year's conference is slated to be held in Vladivostok, Russia.
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