Senator eyes creation of PHL energy research center

By on January 29, 2017


Under Senate Bill No. 1290, Sen. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian (Pictured) proposes to establish the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Development Institute (PERPDI) in the School of Economics of the University of the Philippines in Diliman. (Photo: Senator Win Gatchalian/ Facebook)
Under Senate Bill No. 1290, Sen. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian (Pictured) proposes to establish the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Development Institute (PERPDI) in the School of Economics of the University of the Philippines in Diliman. (Photo: Senator Win Gatchalian/ Facebook)

MANILA –A bill has been filed in the Senate on Sunday seeking the establishment of a research institute in the Philippines to modernize the energy sector.

Under Senate Bill No. 1290, Sen. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian proposes to establish the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Development Institute (PERPDI) in the School of Economics of the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

Gatchalian, Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, said that this could help make the Philippine energy more responsive to the demands of consumers and sector players.

SBN 1290 mandates the PERPDI to “undertake collaborative energy research and policy development among the academe and stakeholders; provide timely technical assistance to the government on energy issues needing policy direction and advise; and create and administer programs intended to build the capacity of government agencies, energy stakeholders, and the academe.”

It also assigns the PERPDI to ensure that “the results of energy research and policy development activities are utilized to improve the energy sector, the economy, and the lives of the people.”

Gatchalian said the concept of PERPDI is modeled after similar institutions hosted by top American universities, including the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, the Cornell Energy Institute, Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy, Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, and the Energy Institute of the University of Michigan, among others.

He further said that although the energy sector is naturally characterized by rapidly changing technologies, most of the country’s policy instruments cannot keep up due to limitations in local research and technical capacity.

“This bill seeks to address these limitations by establishing an institution which will bridge research and policy gaps in pursuit of Philippine energy security, affordability, and sustainability,” Gatchalian said.

The neophyte senator said that because of scarce databases in universities and research centers, government has been tapping private foreign-funded institutions and organizations to access essential data for policy discussions.

“Formulating and executing a concrete blueprint for the future of the energy sector is critical to fostering inclusive long-term growth and development for our country. The creation of PERPDI will be an important milestone in our quest to achieve these ambitious socio-economic goals,” he added.