About This Item
Share This Item
Philippine energy policy for the 80s will tend to follow the general directions established in the mid-70s. Its application, however, should reflect the realities of this decade as well as the progress achieved and experience gained over the past several years.
The Philippines, traditionally relying on oil for 95% of its commercial energy requirements, considers this fuel to be too expensive for meeting the growing energy demand of most sectors of the economy. Accordingly the country, since 1974, has embarked on a policy that: (a) promotes judicious and efficient use of energy through a responsive pricing policy and a package of fiscal incentives; (b) reduces oil dependence in favor of more economical and preferably indigenous alternatives.
Supporting this dual policy thrust, the government has played a catalytic role through selective investments, enabling legislation, national energy policy planning, and coordination of program execution. The vigorous enlistment of foreign and private sector investment in upstream resource development continues to play a role.
By 1981, the implementation of aforementioned energy policy initiatives had resulted in a decline in the country's dependence on imported oil, from a high of 96% in the mid-70s, to 79%. Energy consumption growth rates after 1974 have been contained, on the average, to levels below real economic growth movements.
In the near future, the energy investment program targets further reduction of imported oil dependence to 43% by 1986 on the strength of projects that are now either under construction or committed.
While the 70s presented general mobilization challenges, higher real costs of money and more difficult access to foreign exchange dominated financing are expected in the 80s.
In Philippine energy sub-sectors, policy application needs to recognize specific market conditions and the accomplishments to date.
The value of oil as foreign exchange earning or expenditure prompts policymakers to maintain an aggressive oil exploration posture. Though considerable success has been achieved in geothermal exploitation and use, the country still needs to displace around 2,000 Mw of baseload of oil thermal plants, a need advantageously fulfilled by geothermal systems. On another front, coal policy is expected to heavily favor the development of domestic production. Projected demand for coal for the next 6 years indicates substantial import requirements, though prospects of increasing indigenous reserves continue to be favorable.
The country continues to face challenges in the electric power industry, biomass energy development, and energy pricing. Policy options in these instances have been developed, but it is clear that time is needed to reach a satisfactory state of affairs.
End_of_Article - Last_Page 964------------