By Liza Soriano
Your Mechanic photo courtesy
MANILA — In light of this week’s huge spike in oil prices, Senator Risa Hontiveros asked the government to speed up the implementation of renewable energy projects in the Philippines and reduce the vulnerability of the nation to such economic shocks.
The statement was made by the senator, a well-known proponent of renewable energy, after regional oil firms reported price rises for diesel, gasoline, and kerosene as a result of the dramatic production cuts imposed by OPEC and its allies (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries).
Diesel, gasoline, and kerosene prices increased by as much as P6.85, P1.20, and P3.50, respectively, eclipsing the effects of small price rollbacks weeks before.
“The present situation only shows how vulnerable our nation is to oil price shocks. If nothing is changed, we will always be at the mercy of the market and its most influential players,” Hontiveros said.
“Hindi pwedeng price monitoring lang ang aksyon ng pamahalaan. Kailangan nating madaliin ang pag-rollout ng renewable energy projects na pakikinabangan ng ating mga kababayan,” the senator added.
Hontiveros noted that during the recent hearing on the annual budget of the Department of Energy (DOE) and affiliated agencies, energy officials led by DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla agreed with the need to implement reforms that will drive investments into local renewable energy projects and technologies.
Meanwhile, Hontiveros also urged her colleagues in the Senate to support her proposed Senate Bill No. 378 or the Solar Home System Financing for Social Housing Program Act, which aims to provide impoverished families in socialized housing sites easy access to solar energy technology and its benefits.
“This latest oil price hike should be a wake-up call that our present setup of importing oil for our energy needs is unsustainable and anti-consumer. Let us tap into our wealth of indigenous resources for our energy needs and end this vicious cycle of dependency on imported oil,” Hontiveros concluded. (ai/mtvn)