Senate approves bill creating gov’t energy think tank body

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Wednesday, February 26 approved on third and final reading a bill creating a government think tank body for the energy sector.

The Senate Bill No. 1296 proposes the creation of the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI) which will perform critical research and policy development for necessary reforms in the energy sector.

The measure states that the PERPI will be established in the University of the Philippines (UP) and will operate under the Office of the UP President.

The body shall be managed by an executive board, the members of which should be seasoned academicians and professionals from the fields of engineering, law, science, statistics, economics, public health.

Its executive director, a recognized expert in energy research and policy development, shall be appointed by the UP President.

“We envision PERPI to stand at the forefront of Philippine energy research and policy development, as an institution solely devoted to these pursuits,” Senate energy committee chairman Sherwin Gatchalian said in sponsoring the measure.

Under the bill, the PERPI will formulate and conduct research development on energy technology, public policy issues in energy markets and other pressing issues backed by rigorous empirical evidence.

It will also establish connections 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.

The measure also states that the PERPI, as an independent institution, will ensure that its research endeavors will not be influenced or constrained by political affiliations, technological bias or other presuppositions.

To fund PERPI, the bill proposes the establishment of a special account for energy research.

This will be managed by the Bureau of Treasury which will recognize and accept grants, contributions and donations.

The bill proposes the institute’s operations to be initially funded P200 million appropriated out of the General Appropriations Act.

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