House creates 'special committee' to tackle Marcos' nuclear energy push

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2022 08:14 PM

The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Bagac is surrounded by wide roads and an elevated landscape to mitigate nuclear accidents. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Bagac is surrounded by wide roads and an elevated landscape to mitigate nuclear accidents. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News


MANILA — The House of Representatives on Tuesday created a Special Committee on Nuclear Energy more than 2 weeks after President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said "it was time to reexamine" the country's strategy in building nuclear power plants locally.

Marcos' son, Senior Deputy Majority Leader Ferdinand Alexander "Sandro" Marcos, moved for the creation of the committee which was then approved by the whole House.

Marcos said the jurisdiction of the committee covers "all matters directly and principally referring to the policies and programs for the production, utilization and conservation of nuclear energy, including the development of nuclear power infrastructures as well as interaction of other energy sources with nuclear energy as a reliable, cost competitive and environment-friendly energy source to ensure energy security consistent with the national interest and the State's policy of freedom with nuclear weapons."

Marcos nominated long term nuclear power advocate Pangasinan 2nd District Rep. Mark Cojuangco as the chairman of the new 25-man panel.

Cojuangco vowed his panel will bring out the whole truth about nuclear power.

"Our people deserve cheap, clean yet reliable electricity to be empowered in their struggle to attain a decent and happy life. Panahon na po ang kuryente ay maalipin ng taumbayan, sa halip na sila ang naaalipin ng mahal, kulang at 'di maasahang kuryente na mapangwasak sa ating kalikasan," said Cojuangco.

Marcos previously said he wants to study the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, one of his father’s projects that was never used due to fears over safety, among some issues.

In May, then-Energy Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza, Jr. said that the process in reviving the mothballed plant would be long as it would require about 6 to 8 years in preparing the framework for its operations.

But Erguiza noted that Marcos can also issue an executive order to start the rehabilitation of the Philippines’ lone nuclear power facility.

RELATED VIDEO

Watch more News on iWantTFC