By Maila Ager | Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — Citing the unabated string of increases in fuel and energy prices, Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr. renewed his call on Thursday for the immediate passage of his bill that seeks to develop hydrogen as an alternative power source.
Marcos said the volatility of oil price in the world market, which is dictated by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was “retarding the country’s efforts for a rapid economic growth because the Philippines is highly dependent on oil imports.”
“The latest big time price increases of both petroleum products and electricity in the last few weeks, with price adjustments of power until the first few months of next year is expected, there is compelling need to shift to hydrogen as an alternative fuel as a long term-solution,” he said in a statement.
“A sustainable hydrogen power industry will extricate us from the cruel cycle of world oil price increase in the world market,” he further said.
Under Senate Bill No. 408 known as “The Hydrogen Research, Promotion and Development Act of 2013,” a Philippine Hydrogen Research and Development Center will be created by the Department of Science and Technology to spearhead the development of hydrogen.
The center will spearhead research, development and utilization of hydrogen in the country; initiate and encourage inventions of machineries, equipment, vehicle and the like to be powered by hydrogen; and serve as the core network of foreign investments on the development and utilization of hydrogen, among others,Marcos said the government’s intensified exploration of available energy resources in the country was an initial step towards veering away from over dependence on oil imports.
Issues like global warming caused by excessive carbon emission from burning of fossil fuels and its impact on agriculture-based countries, has moved the government to consider alternative energy sources like hydrogen.
“A breakthrough in the development and utilization of hydrogen holds promise not only for the accelerated economic growths of the country but also for a much cleaner air, which abates the effects of global warming,” Marcos added.
Hydrogen, a highly flammable substance with zero carbon emission, is now being used in Canada, America, Germany and Sweden as fuel for cars, trucks, jet planes, and other vehicles. It is being processed from deuterium, which is abundant in the Philippines, which is heavy water or hydrogen water without oxygen.