By Hannah Torregoza
The Senate has approved on third and final reading the bill that seeks to establish an independent and multi-disciplinary think tank for the energy sector.
The proposed Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI), under Senate Bill No. 1296, will perform critical research and policy development for needed reforms in the energy sector, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said.
“We envision PERPI to stand at the forefront of Philippine energy research and policy development, as an institution solely devoted to these pursuits,” said Gatchalian who chairs the Senate energy committee.
The think tank will be established within the University of the Philippines (UP) and will operate under the Office of the UP President.
It will be headed by an executive board, the members of which should be seasoned academicians and professionals from the fields of engineering, law, science, statistics, economics, and public health.
The UP President will be tasked to appoint its executive director who must be a recognized expert in energy research and policy development.
According to Gatchalian, PERPI’s role will not be limited to the formulation and conduct of research development on energy technology, public policy issues in energy markets and other pressing issues and problems all backed by rigorous empirical evidence.
He said the institute will also be mandated to establish linkages with government and private institutions on existing energy research and policy studies, and shall likewise link with foreign entities for energy research and development and serve as the repository of all energy-related researches and studies.
PERPI is also mandated to ensure that its research endeavors should not be influenced or constrained by political affiliations, technological bias or other presuppositions.
Under the bill, a special account for energy research shall be established and managed by the Bureau of Treasury which will recognize and accept grants, contributions and donations to help fund the think tank.
The institute’s operations shall be initially funded P200- million appropriated out of the national budget.