Marcos says PH can 'find way around energy problems,' talks on oil and gas reserves

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 30 2022 03:05 PM

MANILA - As crude oil prices continue to rise on the world market, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr said the Philippines "can find a way" around its energy supply problems and hinted at exploring for oil and gas. 

"We are not far from oil and gas reserves that have already been developed," Marcos said in his inaugural address Thursday.

The Malampaya project has tapped the country's only proven gas reserves, which are expected to be depleted in a few years.

The administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte meanwhile ended talks with China over energy exploration in the West Philippine Sea citing constitutional limits.

Marcos, who has yet to name who will be the next Energy Secretary, said that just as there was a problem with the country's agriculture and food supply, there was "a parallel problem with our energy supply."

"Sufficient fuel fossil-free technology for whole economies has yet to be invented. And it is not seriously tried by rich countries," he noted.

Marcos also hinted at his preference for renewable energy. 

"Blades have been turning over the sand dunes of Ilocos Norte, harnessing a power all around, but unseen long before this day. I built them," Marcos said. 

Marcos has often referred to the wind farm of Bangui Ilocos Norte as one of his successes. 

But in an earlier interview with ANC in 2010, Marcos also acknowledged that the wind farm was a private commercial enterprise

Prior to assuming the country's highest office, Marcos also floated the revival of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant built during his father's term. 

Energy department officials, however, have said that making it fully operational may still take years given the country's current nuclear infrastructure.

Marcos has also said that he wants to study a proposal to scrap the value added tax on power generation and move it instead to power distribution to bring down power costs. 

He has also said that he is looking at amending the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).

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