Senator Ralph Recto on Monday said the government can save P1 billion annually if government buildings and offices used solar panel installations.
Through Senate Bill 268 or the solar energy in national government offices act, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Energy (DOE) are required “to build and retrofit” government facilities.
“Why spend more when such can be reduced by tapping abundant solar power?” Recto said, adding that solar energy is ‘clean and cheap’ and that its use would bring down the bureaucracy’s electric bill.
Recto said that to fund the solar power program, the state may tap idle funds like the P182.29 billion from the Malampaya gas royalties. Presidential Decree 910 allows the government to exploit these resources for energy programs.
“This means that on a daily basis, Malampaya is pumping P91.7 million ($1.95 million) into the government coffers,” Recto said. “If we use it for solar power, then what we’ll have is a gas-to-solar energy project,” Recto said.
The establishment of solar panels in government buildings will result to a P1.2 Billion savings a year, “an amount the Duterte administration can re-channel to social services such as schools and hospitals,” Recto said.
Recto said that schools are one type of government building where solar panels can be installed.
“Let these run science laboratories so students can see a practical application of a very important science lesson,” he said.
Through the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, the government is mandated to develop renewable energy options in the country. Currently, 13% of the country’s energy supply comes from renewable energy.