The House Committee on Energy has approved a substitute measure on the creation of the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI), which aims to improve the country’s ability for energy research and policy creation.
The still unnumbered bill was authored by AKO Bicol party-list Reps. Rodel Batocabe, Alfredo Garbin Jr., Christopher Co, and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte.
Batocabe said PERPI will be tasked to conduct relevant policy research on energy issues and make sure that there is coordination and timely dissemination of research results to concerned government agencies in order to guide policy and decision-making processes.
As stated under the bill, the Institute shall give timely technical assistance to the government on energy policy issues and other related matters, as well as being a medium in coordinating local and international experts in the field of energy through local and international connections.
Other functions and powers of the Institute include formulation and conduction of research development on energy, public policy issues in energy markets, and establishment of research and policy development programs and capacity building trainings on energy.
PERPI shall be under the Office of the President of the University of the Philippines (UP).
It shall be led by an Executive Director and be responsible to directly report to the UP President, and be supported by a Management Committee and Research Fellows.
There will also be a creation of a nine-man Advisory Council to provide general direction and priorities of the Institute.
“The Council shall also provide policy research areas for study and investigation by the Institute based on its evaluation of the energy landscape; give advice to the Institute on any matter relating to the development of a policy or research areas and the administration of policy research programs; assist in generating resources and obtain logistical and financial support for the Institute; and monitor and review the programs and projects undertaken by the Institute,” according to the bill.
The Advisory Council will be composed of the secretaries of the Department of Energy, Department of Science and Technology, and the director general of the National Economic Development Authority as ex-officio members.
The remaining six members shall be chosen by the UP President, each a representative in the fields of engineering, law, science, statistics, social science, and public health. Three of the members shall be from the academe, the rest will be coming from the private sector.
A budget of P 200 million has been initially allotted for the Institute for its starting operations, which will be sourced from the General Fund.
If the amount is insufficient, the deficit will be charged against the operation of the current fiscal year and other internal funds of the UP system, as stated under the bill.
The funds needed for the operation of the Institute will be assessed annually and shall be increased as necessary.
The committee also looked at the creation of a separate trust fund to make sure the Endowment Fund given by the measure is separated from the funding for the UP System.
The Endowment Fund will be controlled by the Institute for its operations, which includes the purchase of research equipment and facilities, compensation and honoraria of researchers, and other needed expenses.