January 29, 2017
Gatchalian Seeks Creation of Research Institute to Modernize Energy Sector
In a bid to bring the Philippine energy sector up to speed with innovative international technologies and make the industry more responsive to the demands of consumers and sector players, Senator Win Gatchalian has filed Senate Bill No. 1290, which proposes the establishment of a Philippine Energy Research and Policy Development Institute (PERPDI) in the School of Economics of the University of the Philippines in Diliman.
"The energy sector is naturally characterized by rapidly changing technologies. Unfortunately, most of the country's policy instruments cannot keep up due to limitations in local research and technical capacity. This bill seeks to address these limitations by establishing an institution which will bridge research and policy gaps in pursuit of Philippine energy security, affordability, and sustainability," said Gatchalian, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy.
The neophyte senator said that because of scarce databases in universities and research centers focusing on energy, government has been tapping private foreign-funded institutions and organizations to access essential data for policy discussions.
To address this problem, SBN 1290 mandates the PERPDI to "undertake collaborative energy research and policy development among the academe and stakeholders; provide timely technical assistance to the government on energy issues needing policy direction and advise; and create and administer programs intended to build the capacity of government agencies, energy stakeholders, and the academe."
In executing its mandate, the PERPDI will also be charged with ensuring that the results of energy research and policy development activities are utilized to improve the energy sector, the economy, and the lives of the people."
Through the PERPDI, Gatchalian said the government will be armed with the capacity to formulate multidisciplinary research-based policies and strategies for the cost-effective use of energy resources towards environmentally-sound energy development.
"Formulating and executing a concrete blueprint for the future of the energy sector is critical to fostering inclusive long-term growth and development for our country. The creation of PERPDI will be an important milestone in our quest to achieve these ambitious socio-economic goals," said Gatchalian.
The concept of PERPDI is modeled after similar institutions hosted by top American universities, including the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy, the Cornell Energy Institute, Stanford's Precourt Institute for Energy, Boston University's Institute for Sustainable Energy, and the Energy Institute of the University of Michigan, among others.
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