REPRESENTATIVE Kimi Cojuangco (fifth district, Pangasinan) re-filed the pet bill of his husband, former congressman Mark Cojuangco, seeking the rehabilitation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).
Cojuangco dubbed her bill as "An act mandating an immediate validation process, which satisfies international accepted nuclear power industry norms to determine the BNPP's operability culminating in either the immediate rehabilitation, certification and commercial operation or, the immediate permanent closure and salvage value recovery, of the BNPP, appropriating funds therefore, and for other purposes."
If passed, it shall be known as the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant of 2010.
The similar bill was authored by Mark, who was the congressman of the same district.
Mark's bill, House Bill (HB) No. 4631 pushed for the re-commissioning and commercial operation of the nuclear power plant. It evolved into HB 6300 after the Committee on Energy approved it which was then referred to the plenary for second reading.
It however failed to pass into a law.
In the bill filed by Kimi, she noted that the passing of the measure is timely in view of an impending power crisis.
"Such a power crisis would put a cap on any economic development and growth which we may be having due to our new found political stability, confidence and positive outlook, if not outright sabotaging our gains and setting us back in our struggle for prosperity," she added.
She said there is a need for the National Power Corporation (Napocor) to undertake the immediate validation of the BNPP before the rehabilitation can be started. Napocor shall be under the direct supervision and control of the Department of Energy.
If Napocor however fails to validate the BNPP, it can declare the permanent closure of the BNPP and within one year after the declaration, the Napocor is mandated to have effected the scrapping and salvage value recovery of the power plant.
Earlier, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said he is not inclined of rehabilitating the BNPP, believing it would be costly and pose more danger than help.
Aquino admitted that he has a lot of apprehensions about moves to rehabilitate the Bataan plant, though he is not opposed to the general idea of a nuclear power plant. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)