Sen. Gatchalian eyes establishment of PH energy research institute

Sen. Gatchalian eyes establishment of PH energy research institute

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has filed Senate Bill No. 1290 proposing an establishment of a Philippine Energy Research and Policy Development Institute (PERPDI) in the School of Economics of the University of the Philippines-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,” Gatchalian said.

He added that because of the lack of research centers focusing on the energy sector, the government has been asking private foreign-funded institutions and organizations for data for policy discussions.

Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy, said the bill can address these hurdles through PERPDI, which can “bridge research and policy gaps in pursuit of Philippine energy security, affordability, and sustainability.”

The bill 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.”

The research institute is patterned after similar centers like Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, the Cornell Energy Institute, Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy, the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute and the Yale Climate and Energy Institute.

“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 senator said.

The PERPDI will ensure that its energy research and policy development activities can improve the country’s energy sector, economy and the lives of the people.