CEBU CITY, September 27, 2019 – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Cebu Third District Representative Pablo John Garcia of Cebu pledged to push for better competition in the energy sector during the second Renewable Energy Congress held here last week.

Senator Gatchalian, chair of the Senate energy committee, refiled last July Senate Bill No. 362 or the Competitive Selection Process for Power Supply Agreements Act. It seeks to foster transparency and competition in power supply contracting by requiring all generation contracts to undergo open bidding.

Gatchalian said the bill, which has been referred to the committee level, would “ensure transparent and reasonable prices of electricity.”

Representative Garcia, deputy speaker for Visayas at the House of Representatives, expressed his support to Gatchalian and vowed to file a counterpart bill in the Lower House.

“I will work with Senator Gatchalian on competition policy to increase transparency, streamline the rules, and rationally decrease electricity prices,” Garcia remarked.

Both lawmakers are also pushing for the fast transition of the country towards low-carbon energy sources. They called for the better implementation of the the Renewable Energy Law, which will be up for review ten years after it was enacted.

“We can also review the provisions of EPIRA [Electric Power Industry Reform Act] and the Renewable Energy Act to accelerate the transition to low and zero-carbon technologies,” according to Garcia.

“We have a very good Renewable Energy Law but we need to make sure that all of the provisions are being implemented, especially the incentives to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in our country,” Gatchalian said.

“Solutions to the climate problem require changes in the behavior of individuals, and communities, and radical policy changes at the national and supra-national levels,” said Jose ‘Viking’ Logarta, energy policy advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and chair of the Center for Empowerment, Innovation, and Training on Renewable Energy (CentRE), which organized the RE Congress in partnership with the University of San Carlos – Center for Renewable Energy Systems and Technologies (CREST).

“The good news is that there is a set of policies and programs that can be considered win-win solutions. And these have to do with renewable energy and energy efficiency policy,” Logarta added.


PHOTO: Senator Sherwin Gatchalian takes a group photo with Cebu third district Representative Pablo John Garcia and other participants of the second Renewable Energy Congress in Cebu City on September 27, 2019. (c) Homer Anthony Medici/ICSC