The special committee on nuclear energy proposed by Senior Deputy Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Alexander Marcos was approved by the House of Representatives during its session on Tuesday.
The proposal from Marcos was approved by the House via viva voce or voice voting, with staunch nuclear energy supporter and Pangasinan 2nd District Rep. Mark Cojuangco being elected to head the said special committee.
'Madame Speaker, I move for the creation of the special committee on nuclear energy, with 25 members and with its jurisdiction as follows: all matters directly and principally relating to the policies and programs for the utilization and conservation of nuclear energy,' Marcos said.
Marcos was addressing Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur 2nd District Rep. Kristine Singson-Meehan.
'Including the development of nuclear power infrastructures as well as the interaction of other energy sources with nuclear energy as a reliable, cost-competitive, and environment-friendly energy source to ensure energy security consistent with the national interest and the State's policy of freedom from nuclear weapons,' he added.
With creating the special committee, Marcos also moved to amend the existing House committee on energy's scope, removing nuclear power from among the issues it can tackle.
'In line with the creation of the special committee on nuclear energy, I move that we amend the jurisdiction of the committee on energy to read as follows: all matters directly and principally relating to the exploration, development, utilization, or conservation of energy resources including the development and utilization of alternative and renewable energy sources, and the entities involved in the power generation,' Marcos said.
Cojuangco has been an avid supporter of nuclear energy, giving a privilege speech during the early stages of the 19th Congress to allay fears that such a form of energy is dangerous or disadvantageous to Filipinos.
Nuclear energy was also one of the focal points in the State of the Nation Address (Sona) delivered by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. - father of Rep. Marcos, who proposed the committee.
In his Sona, he said that the time is ripe to examine the country's policies towards nuclear energy, saying that safety measures have been strengthened after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan, which happened after a strong earthquake in 2011.