Additional budget for DOE pushed


    Senate committee on energy chairman Sherwin Gatchalian is proposing for an additional P46 million for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) budget next year to fund studies on new technologies that will maximize the use of indigenous resources and lower the cost of energy in the country.

    “We have to invest on research to explore the potentials of emerging energy sources. The outcome of which will have a lasting impact in our daily lives and will save us money in the long run,” Gatchalian said.

    The DOE has requested a budget of P2.6 billion for 2021 but the Department of Budget and Management approved only P2.15 billion which is almost nine percent lower from this year’s budget of P2.34 billion.

    Gatchalian said under his proposed additional funding for the DOE, P20 million will fund a study on energy transition, another P20 million for a comprehensive roadmap for electric vehicles (EVs) and P6 million for prospects of energy generation through waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities.

    “With the exponential decrease in the price of renewable energy and battery storage and 10 more years before our 2030 Paris Agreement commitments, it is paramount for the DOE to start studying scenarios on how to achieve a holistic energy transition in the Philippines towards a decentralized, digitalized and decarbonized energy system without sacrificing energy security and affordability,” he said.

    Gatchalian added a study on energy transition must have a whole industry and government approach to cover all types of energy utilized in all sectors including agriculture, fisheries and forestry, commercial and industrial, residential and transportation.

    Gatchalian said studies on EVs and WTE facilities are also crucial as these energy sources have the potential to reduce the country’s oil import dependence and greenhouse gas emissions.

    These facilities, he said, can help solve the garbage problem in the country. – J. Macapagal