A local consumer group is calling on the government to stop relying on long-term importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG), noting that local energy sources should be prioritized in meeting the country’s energy requirements.
“It bears stressing that indigenous sources of energy such as the Malampaya gas field should continue to be the main components of the country’s energy mix,” Infrawatch PH conveyor and former member of the House Committee on Energy Terry Ridon said in a statement.
Ridon highlighted Shell Philippines’ statement on Malamapaya’s supply lasting between 2026 and 2029, adding that there’s no need to rush in making imported LNG a huge chunk of the country’s energy mix.
“Correspondingly, government should go slow in supporting the proposed LNG terminal as indigenous sources remain available in the years to come,” he said.
Ridon said that heavy reliance on the usage of imported LNG discourages the exploration activities on undiscovered energy deposit areas, specifically the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise.
“We may lose the current imperative to look for new sources of energy within the country’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone if we allow LNG importation to be a major component of our energy mix.”
Exploration of new indigenous sources could limit the country’s exposure to exchange rate risks and the ever changing fuel prices in the world market, Ridon said.
Majority of the world’s LNG supply is being sourced from geopolitically risky countries such as Qatar, Russia, Nigeria, among others.
“As a result, we are exposing the nation to unexpected supply issues due to geopolitical risks, not only in sourcing energy products but also in terms of logistics.”
He also added that developing new local energy sources can result in more job opportunities for Filipinos.
“Developing new local sources of energy would also allow Filipinos to benefit from job creation, skills training and more business for local communities.”
Development of local industries has always been a priority of President Rodrigo Duterte as it provides wider socio-economic benefits to Filipinos, Ridon said.