GMA News Online : Bongbong will revive OPSF, review nuke plant use —adviser

19 February 2022

By TED CORDERO | GMA News Online

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will revive the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF), and revisit the Bataan Nuke plant for energy utility use if elected president, a Uniteam adviser said Saturday.

Jonathan dela Cruz, one of the advisers of Uniteam of which Bongbong is the frontrunner, said the Marcos-era OPSF will be revived to ease the impact of rising oil prices on consumers.

At the media forum organized by Infrawatch PHL on Saturday, former congressman Dela Cruz said that the Philippines cannot do anything with the rising oil prices, but to set up a mechanism to subsidize fuel to cushion the impact of price hikes.

“There has to be a way by which the government will be able to handle this particular situation… The government has to be prepared to undertake subsidy operations that will require the revival of the OPSF with some revisions,” Dela Cruz said.

In 1984, the OPSF was set up by the late President Ferdinand Marcos to help protect consumers from fluctuations in the prices of petroleum in the world market.

Under OPSF, oil companies contributed a portion of their sales to the fund. The program was later on scrapped during the term of President Fidel Ramos, during which the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act was enacted.

Dela Cruz said that if the OPSF will be revived, the government has to “consider putting in an initial amount for purposes of starting up the [fund],” then workout a system in which the taxes from, such as from fuel, can be used to keep the program rolling.

Bataan nuke plant

Likewise, the Uniteam adviser said that Marcos Jr. has already expressed desire to “revisit the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) issue, because we are talking about a plant that can provide cheap and steady [energy supply] baseload for our communities.”

“He’s [Marcos Jr.] already mentioned that we will take a second look at the [mothballed] BNPP and all other possible sources of cheap energy,” Dela Cruz said.

The BNPP, the country’s only nuclear power plant, has been mothballed for more than three decades.

Dela Cruz said the re-energization of the BNPP has become a “political issue and I hope we can get out of politics and make sure this is a safe, affordable, beneficial source of power for our country.” —LBG, GMA News