Marcos Jr. eyes amending “outdated” EPIRA


President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. looks to have Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) amended as an attempt to bring down the cost of electricity. 

While Marcos Jr. said that his administration would be “very strict” in enforcing EPIRA, he noted that the law would have to be revised since some provisions are “already outdated.” 

The incoming chief executive, however, did not specify which provisions would be up for amendments. However, he mentioned during his campaign that he would consider nuclear energy as a power source in the country. The president-elect also said that he met with the experts from South Korea on the possible revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. 

Marcos Jr. said that nuclear energy is one of the “cleanest and cheapest ways to produce energy.” 

Under the EPIRA, the government cannot invest in power generation as “it shall not be considered a public utility operation.” Thus, for the government to invest in nuclear power plants, amendments have to be made. 

“As of now, the government does not have the ability to put up conventional nuclear power [plants] because the National Power Corporation does not have a mandate on this,” Energy Usec. Gerardo Erguiza, Jr said in the Laging Handa public briefing on Wednesday. 

Philippine Nuclear Research Institute Director Carlo Arcilla earlier mentioned that legal roadblocks are facing the country’s Nuclear Energy Program signed by outgoing Pres. Rodrigo Duterte. 

“But we can align together, with the drafting or putting up of the regulatory framework, we can amend our laws to include the government among those that can fund a nuclear power plant,” Erguiza said. 

Signed in 2001, the EPIRA aimed to ensure reliable and competitive power prices in the country. Under this law, the country’s power sector was divided into four sub-sectors – generation, transmission, distribution, and supply to create a level-playing field among energy industry players.

Marcos Jr. said that he has already formed a team that would look into other factors that would bring down electricity prices, including the proposal to scrap the value-added tax on power generation.