Energy is one of the main drivers of the Philippine economy. With threats of diminishing supply due to the economic instability, energy advocates through the Philippine Energy Independence Council conducted a public forum to discuss the role of energy independence in national security last August 4.
During the said forum, the House Power Bloc representatives,  Presley De Jesus of PHILRECA, Sergio Dagooc of APEC, Adriano Ebcas of Ako Padayon Pilipino, and Godofredo Guya of RECOBODA, emphasized the need for energy security and independence prompting them to file House Resolution 1063 directing the conduct of an inquiry in aid of legislation on issues of energy security which affects national security.

According to APEC Rep. Dagooc, energy security is now a “crucial factor involved in protecting and upholding national sovereignty as it is necessary to keep domestic economies running at full power.”
Energy security as a part of national defense is not novel. Almost all countries depend on energy to fuel their economies.  For the Power Bloc, strengthening energy resources mean upholding our sovereignty. This issue, hence, becomes a pressing matter for the national government.
The government has made various strides towards our goal of energy independence, such as the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) commitment to the Renewable Energy Act and increasing renewable energy service contracts and capacity. However, according to RECOBODA Rep. Guya, “the clock is ticking on the Malampaya natural gas field.”
The Malampaya Project has contributed to exploration, development, and the production of native petroleum resources since 1972. Tapping into this project will reduce the country’s dependence on imports and institute a dependable and cost-efficient local source of energy. PHILRECA Rep. De Jesus commented that the stability of our indigenous sources, particularly from Malampaya, should be secured by implementing “new investments in the field.” Unfortunately, “many energy companies have refrained from bidding due to disputes,” said De Jesus.
Rep. De Jesus also explained that boosting the Philippines’ energy capacity is an investment towards energy security and, in the long-run, national security. “Energy security and independence would propel the Philippines to sustain its rapid growth and development… [W]e need to sustain and even pump up our investment in energy capacity. As this is the only way we can achieve energy security.”
The Power Bloc proposes prompt government action on ensuring energy security. Ako Padayon Pilipino Rep. Adriano Ebcas stressed that, “unless the government quickly addresses all these energy issues and rising demands, the Philippines may face an acute power shortage.”
“Through this resolution, we hope to bring into light the issues we need to be looking into if we want to improve the energy situation in our country. For any economy, an unreliable energy supply results in short and long-term loss of productivity,” Rep. Ebcas said.
Energy independence and security is said to promote economic productivity and national sovereignty. On the flip side, an energy crisis is certain to add to turbulent times in this current pandemic. It is therefore high time to prioritize energy security and independence in our country’s legislative agenda and policy-direction.

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