A consumer rights group called on candidates in this year’s presidential election to champion renewable energy systems instead of promoting the use and expansion of fossil fuel projects.
The Power for People Coalition (P4P) lambasted some candidates who present “false solutions” to the looming energy crisis as their campaign strategy.
“Many Filipinos are expecting that our energy situation will change if these candidates win,” said Gerry Arances, lead convenor of P4P.
“Sadly, these candidates promote another type of imported, expensive, and dirty fossil fuel,” he added.
Vice President Leni Robredo, who is running for president, earlier said that she would prioritize liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a transition from being a fossil fuel-dependent country.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno is also vocal about using fossil gas as a “bridge fuel,” while the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos is open to reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
Senatorial candidate Luke Espiritu said a nuclear power plant is “not a clean energy source and poses great danger to the country.”
“It is very dangerous. And where are we going to get Uranium? We will import again,” he said.
Espiritu said nuclear power is not a cheap source of electricity. “It will also produce radioactive waste,” he said. “Who will suffer from that waste?”
Arances reminded presidential candidates that LNG or fossil gas “is still a fossil fuel” and “any new fossil fuel facility means we are displacing renewable energy.”
He said the promotion and development of a 100 percent renewable and sustainable energy system will not only address environmental and climate concerns but also put an end to the soaring prices of fuel.
P4P blamed fossil fuel companies for failing to provide reliable power services and triggering rising electricity bills.
The group also accused the Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy of “failing to ensure consumers’ welfare and protection from price shocks and abuse.”
Arances said electricity prices, particularly in the franchise area of the Manila Electric Company, have been steadily rising, adding that consumers have been paying “for more expensive electric bills.”
“That is too heavy a cross to bear for consumers in the middle of an economic crisis,” he said.