House energy panel urged to hold hearings amid break

A PROGRESSIVE party-list lawmaker urged the House Committee on Energy to conduct hearings during the Congress break to tackle proposed laws that would address the power crisis in Mindanao.

Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño specifically called on House energy committee chairman and Batanes Representative Henedina Abad to fast track his proposed One Million Solar Roofs Act.

“We are urging the Energy committee to hold hearings during the Congress break to tackle the bill and other legislation to address the power crisis. This will get the ball rolling for renewable energy as the long term and sustainable solution to the power problem,” said Casiño.

For his part, House Majority Leader Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales said all committees “can always meet anytime” during the break. Congress is on Lenten break until May 6.

“The immediate and short term solution lies in the hands of the Executive, Legislative and it takes time. The Committee on Energy can always meet anytime during the break. All Committees are authorized to meet,” Gonzales said.

Casiño’s proposed law will grant incentives and financing facilities to ordinary electricity consumers like residences, offices and small to medium business establishments who want to put up their own solar power systems.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a similar bill pushing the use of solar roofs.

The measure will also allow homeowners and entrepreneurs to take out loans from Pag-Ibig, GSIS, SSS and other financial institutions to purchase solar panels and pay the amount from the ensuing savings in their electricity bills.

“In this way, we hit three birds with one stone - we build additional supply of power; liberate ourselves from expensive, dirty and imported fossil fuels; and develop the local renewable energy industry. It is really the way to go,” he said.

Casiño said the use of solar power is an immediate way to address energy problems considering the abundance of the country’s solar energy.

“With government harnessing the solar resources of the country and providing for incentives for massive deployment of solar energy systems, the prospects of attaining energy independence from oil companies and significantly lowering electricity prices in the medium-term are realizable,” he asserted. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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