Greenpeace yesterday called out in a press release addressed t to the country’s lawmakers to fast-track the passage of a Congress Bill that, once signed into law, will strike out nuclear energy from Philippine energy plans once and for all.
The Nuclear-free Pilipinas Bill is authored by Akbayan Representatives Walden F. Bello and Kaka J. Bag-ao, and was filed today at the House of Representatives. The proposed legislation directs the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to remove all options for nuclear in the Energy Reform Agenda, the Philippine Energy Plan for 2009-2030, and the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2010-2016.
“The government must put all so-called ‘nuclear options’ in the dustbin where they belong. Greenpeace applauds Representatives Bello and Bag-ao for heeding the aspirations of the Filipino people to live in a safe and secure environment free from catastrophic nuclear risks. Nuclear power is extremely dangerous and prohibitively expensive. Keeping it in the country’s energy plans is akin to laying a fatal curse on present and future generations of Filipinos,” said Amalie Obusan, Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
“Greenpeace believes that the passage of this legislation will be the necessary counter that would effectively silence parties that are aggressively promoting their misguided nuclear ambitions. Although it has been silent in their quarters because of the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster, Filipinos sometimes have very short memories. It is highly probable that we have not yet seen the end of pro-nuclear legislative proposals. We need this law so that Filipinos can rest easy, confident that there will never be a Fukushima in our country,” she added.
No nuclear proposals are currently tabled in Philippine Congress. However, the Philippine Energy Plan still has provisions for nuclear energy. Meanwhile the Energy Reform Agenda directs the DOE to conduct researches and studies in aid of legislative and executive action for the operation of a 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant by 2025. These seem to indicate that President Aquino is effectively supportive of laying the foundations for the entry of nuclear, despite his public declaration that nuclear will not be an option under his administration.