House OKs bill on natural gas as PH energy source


The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the third and final reading of House Bill (HB) No. 8456, known as the Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Industry Development Act, allowing the replacement of harmful coal with safer natural gas as the country’s energy source.

HB 8456, authored by Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, would create the Philippine Downstream Natural Gas Industry (PDNGI), which would promote the role of natural gas as a safe, environment-friendly, efficient, and cost-effective energy source, and supports the shift from fossil fuel to natural gas utilization in the current equipment and facilities in the country.

“It’s high time that we enforce, implement, and use clean energy to mitigate the effects of climate change. We have to start now to veer away from the conventional but hazardous method of generating power, for the benefit of our future generation,” Romualdez said. 

The law seeks to oblige the Department of Energy to supervise and monitor the development of its industry while regulating the construction and operation of natural gas pipelines and related facilities for the transmission, distribution, and supply of natural gas.

Approximately 65% of the Philippines’ power sources are generated from coal use, thus several lawmakers have been pushing for the house bills’ approval to accelerate investments in order to boost domestic incentives and attract foreign investors or LNG players in the country.

Reps. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, Rodante Marcoleta, Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, Jude Acidre, Joey Salceda, Wilter Palma, Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, Harris Christopher Ongchuan, Maria Carmen Zamora, Shernee Tan-Tambut, Noel Rivera, Jonathan Keith Flores, and Ralph Recto are among the co-authors of the bill.