Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said what the country needs is an economy powered by clean, cheap, and reliable sources of energy as part of the administration’s program of government for change.
Pimentel made the remarks as he welcomed on Tuesday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference on the prospects for nuclear power in the Asia-Pacific region at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.
He said the new, bold, and daring initiatives of President Duterte, whom he described as an unconventional leader, are aimed at bringing changes not only to improve law and order but also the lives of the people.
“We have a new and unconventional president, who won on a program of government for change,” he said.
It is fortunate, he added, that the President’s political lieutenants and supporters, just like him, are willing, ready and able to think outside the box to pursue new solutions to age-old problems of Philippine society.
Because of this willingness, he said, “we are now going to tackle quality of life issues for all Filipinos.”
Pimentel said one factor contributing immensely to a high or desirable quality of life is the availability of power and its cost, both to the consumer and to the environment.
He said after President Duterte has successfully addressed the law and order issues, the Philippine economy is expected to take off in a trajectory never seen before.
“That is the change that is coming,” said Pimentel.
He said the government is pursuing efforts to look for alternatives to fossil fuel because, “we want our countrymen and future generations to enjoy modern conveniences without sacrificing the purity of the environment.”
One such alternative, he said, is nuclear power that offers so much potential.
Pimentel said many countries have already benefitted from it, but nuclear power can also have very serious negative consequences, especially since the country is located in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire.
“We must study nuclear power carefully,” he said. “Our conclusions must be based on scientific evidence and not on political or ideological considerations.”
He thanked the organizers for bringing the event to Manila, saying “this conference will surely start a debate on the desirability of nuclear power here in our country which can only be beneficial to us as we will be educated on the pros and cons of nuclear power.”
“And whatever will be the outcome of your conference, we will all be beneficiaries. For we would have shown that change is here,” said Pimentel, noting that nuclear power, as an alternative energy, is a possibility.
He said finding alternatives to fossil fuel is a necessity today in order to advance the quality of life of all mankind.
“Let us use our ‘Kokote’ and welcome that change that is coming, because we are that change and we are going to make it happen,” he added. pr