Presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Saturday raised the need to review the country’s energy policies as he criticized the decision of previous governments to privatize utilities, including the power sector.
While he has no intention to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), he is keen on using nuclear energy to improve the country’s power generation capacity.
Pacquiao, in a press statement, said he prefers the use of floating nuclear power plants that are also known as nuclear barges to increase the country’s energy supply and lower the cost of electricity.
Pacquiao is also advocating the use of renewable energy such as solar, wind, mini-hydro and wave energy.
“Bibigyang pansin natin ang lahat ng mga puwedeng maging source ng enerhiya pero pag-aaral ang mabuti para sa pagkakataong ito ay hindi na tayo kulangin sa ating power supply,” he said.
Pacquiao also expressed dismay over the decision of previous administrations to privatize public utilities which could have otherwise provided the government a steady source of non-tax revenue income.
He said the country is experiencing runaway debt problem, because of corruption and full dependence on tax revenues.
“Itong mga pakakautang natin sa World Bank at sa ibang mga bansa ang pumipigil sa ating pag-asenso dahil malaking porsyento o mahigpit sa kalahati ng ating annual national budget ay bapupunta sa pag babayad ng ating mga utang,” Pacquiao said.
“Hindi ako pabor sa pagsasa-pribado ng public utilities habang panay ang utang natin. Dapat sana ay asset natin ang utilities dahil makaka pag-generate ng revenue para sa gobyerno. Kaso mas naging polisiya ng gobyerno ang mangutang,” he said.
Pacquiao went around four key cities in the vote-rich Laguna province on Saturday, paying courtesy visits to the incumbent local government officials.
He also received a surprise endorsement from San Pablo City Mayor Amben Amante, who introduced him to a group of barangay chief executives from the 3rd and 4th district as the next president of the Philippines.
Pacquiao started his campaign through a motorcade in the town of Sta. Cruz where he also paid a courtesy call to Mayor Edgar San Luis. This was followed by another courtesy call to Laguna Governor Ramil Hernandez at the provincial capital before proceeding to San Pablo City for a motorcade and consultative meetings with barangay officials and San Pablo city fisherfolks.