By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Citing the need to explore and develop other energy sources, an opposition lawmaker is seeking the establishment of a Solar Energy Development Authority to promote the development and utilization of solar energy.
MAGDALO party-list Rep. Gary Alejano lamented that the country is too dependent on imported crude oil for its entire energy needs.
“Other sources of energy such as hydroelectric and geothermal energy are not enough to supply our energy needs. There is, therefore, a need to explore and develop other alternative sources of energy in order to solve our current energy crisis,” he said.
The member of the “Magnificent Seven” bloc of the House of Representatives filed House Bill 7094 seeking the creation of the five-man Solar Energy Development Authority to undertake extensive research on alternative sources of energy and implement the government program on the allocation, distribution, and sale of alternative sources of energy.
“Since solar energy is relatively new technology in the country, its potential use as an economical, safe and efficient energy source is generally unknown to the consuming public. It is, therefore, necessary to create a government entity that would initiate and promote public acceptance of this new technology,” Alejano said.
House Bill 7094 provides that the powers and functions of the Authority shall be vested in a Board of Directors consisting of a Chairman and four members who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines with the consent of the Commission on Appointments.
The chairman and the two members shall serve a term of four years, while the remaining two members shall be ex-officio members, who shall be composed of the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Secretary of Science and Technology.
Under the bill, they shall receive compensation as may be fixed by the President of the Philippines which shall not exceed with those given to Commissioners of a constitutional body.
The Authority is mandated to formulate a comprehensive policy for the research, development, and utilization of alternative sources of energy, the bill provides.
The amount necessary for the effective implementation of the proposed Act shall be charged to the appropriation of the Department of Science and Technology under the current General Appropriation Act.
“It is envisioned that with solar energy, people will be more conscious of protecting their environment,” Alejano said.