House Ratifies Renewable Energy Committee Report

Article excerpt

The House of Representatives ratified Tuesday night the bicameral committee report on a bill that would bolster efforts to develop renewable energy and help guarantee the country's energy security.Rep. Mikey Macapagal Arroyo (Kampi, Pampanga), chairman of the House Committee on Energy, said the consolidated bill was approved in just one meeting by the House-Senate bicameral conference committee.

He said President Arroyo is eager to sign the measure as soon as the two houses of Congress ratify the committee report.

The House plenary approved the final version of the renewable energy measure which was crafted by the bicameral conference committee headed by Arroyo and Sen. Edgardo Angara.

Among the principal authors of House Bill 4193, the young Arroyo said the renewable energy proposal will yield huge economic benefits for the country and, at the same time, boost efforts to safeguard the environment.

The Pampanga solon was instrumental in the swift approval of HB 4193 which gained rare bipartisan support when presented for plenary debate.

In the present 14th Congress, no less than 16 renewable energy sources measures were filed and referred to the Committee on Energy, of which 14 were House bills.

The committee began hearings on these last November, and reported out the final measure in May.

Rep. Arroyo said the joint Congressional approval was a landmark achievement, considering that it had taken more than 20 years or since the Eighth Congress for such a measure to be approved.

"We are justly proud of this landmark measure's passage, as it demonstrates the political will of this Congress to set aside politics and work as one in helping solve the problems besetting our nation," said Arroyo.

He expressed gratitude to all energy committee members and congressmen, the administration, opposition, and independent party blocs who faithfully attended the committee hearings and voted to swiftly pass the House measure in the plenary session.

Aside from a basket of fiscal and other financial incentives to encourage investors to go into renewable energy development, the measure directs the Department of Energy, the National Power Corp., and other government agencies to develop and institute a framework for propagating renewable energy and seamlessly interconnecting these sources into the national power grid.

Arroyo said the measure will help the government achieve its goal to boost the country's energy self-sufficiency from 56.6% in 2005 to the desired level of 60% by 2010. This will be achieved by tapping renewable energy resources like solar, wind, hydropower, ocean, and biomass energy.

According to projections by the Department of Energy, if renewable energy sources can supply an additional 2,500 MW of power supply in the next 10 years, the country would stand to gain some $1. …