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Monday, April 15, 2024

Group calls for assertion of PH fuel sovereignty

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The upward trajectory of fossil fuel prices should drive the Philippine government to work doubly hard to attain fuel self-sufficiency by rapidly exploring and developing all available fuel sources, like the country’s vast renewable energy sources and natural gas from areas like the West Philippine Sea.

“Everyone is aware that volatility of the global fuel supply chain places country’s like the Philippines at the mercy of oil producing countries,” said BenCyrus G. Ellorin, convenor of Pinoy Aksyon for Governance and the Environment. “We do not need to look far beyond to meet our energy needs. Fuel sovereignty is within our reach.”

A buoy crafted by Pinoy Aksyon to float in the West Philippine Sea.

“The issue with never-ending fossil fuel increase needs to be in the West Philippine Sea, South China Sea geopolitical conversation. And the Philippines need to collectively take what is ours even with bolder and harsher actions from China, which also claims substantial areas of the country’s exclusive economic zone in the WPS,” he added.

On the other hand, protecting the fuel resources inside the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone like those in the WPS is equally important for the country’s fuel self-sufficiency, Ellorin added.

He noted that demand for fossils fuels like natural gas will remain substantial in the short and medium term. The Philippine government plans to have 35% to 60% renewable energy to fossil fuel ratio by 2040, although there is a growing demand to raise it to 50:50, and in Mindanao, 50:50 by 2030.

He added that while keeping an eye on the vast fuel reserves at the WPS, the country is endowed with so much renewable energy such as solar, wind, hydro, biomass and tidal power sources. “The renewable energy sources are not affected by geopolitics at the WPS,” Ellorin said.

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