Leni to prioritize energy security

Leni forum screenshot edited

Vice President Leni Robredo said energy security would be a top priority for her administration, should she win the presidency in May.

Speaking before members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines on Friday, Robredo said energy supply is the “number one concern” amid the Malampaya gas field’s depleting reserves.

Medyo nakakatakot ito [kasi] it’s around the corner already,” she said.

“There are pending applications for service contracts that have not yet been acted upon. So, [there] should be an immediate review of all these applications and award them as soon as possible and government should provide support to private companies to fast-track development of oil fields,” the Vice President further emphasized.

When asked about the possibility of a joint exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea, believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits, Robredo stood firm on the country’s arbitral win over the Asian superpower.

[Ang] atin ay atin. We will have to address challenges always with courage and honor and we should be unrestrained by fear and be free from the influence of any political power. If we are to enter into any joint venture or joint exploration activity with China, dapat ang unang requirement natin, [that] China recognizes our arbitral win,” Robredo said.

Para sa akin, a good neighbor and a real friend is really fair and follows international law. Might does not make right. It does not bully or take advantage,” the Vice President added, taking a swipe at Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s remark calling China a “good friend.”

Robredo also plans to go aggressive on developing indigenous renewable energy sources — including solar, wind, and geothermal — given the commitments the country made during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) last year.

The Vice President would likewise push for the development of energy self-sufficiency in smaller scales to help manage demand in the country’s major grids.

“One sustainable [alternative being] pushed by some sectors is to encourage high-consumption volume consumers to put up their own solar panels for those who can afford. Putting up panels in [economic zones], for example, can shave off the peak to manage the supply, promote mini-grids and off-grid technologies for remote communities,” she said.

Robredo had earlier proposed underground cabling for power and communication lines, especially in storm-prone areas, in the wake of the widespread devastation brought by Typhoon Odette.

Screengrab from One News Facebook page.