Back to Top


SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau



22 March 2023 05:40:15 PM

The House Special Committee on Nuclear Energy chaired by Rep. Mark Cojuangco (2nd District, Pangasinan) on Wednesday approved the unnumbered Substitute Bill to House Bill 7049, in consolidation with HBs 371, 481, 526, 542, 1255, 2103, 3301, 3898, 4822, 6030, 7003 and 7330, establishing the Philippine Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority.
The bill also provides for a comprehensive legal framework for radiation protection, nuclear security and safeguards, as well as safety in the peaceful utilization of nuclear energy in the Philippines and appropriates funds therefor. The substitute bill garnered 16 affirmative and zero negative votes from committee members present during the meeting.
Among the objectives of the proposed Act are to: 1) establish the Philippine Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority or PhilATOM with the functions and responsibilities set forth in the Act; 2) establish a legal framework to be implemented by the Philippine Atomic Regulatory Authority, including the issuance of regulations, to govern and facilitate the peaceful, safe and secure uses of nuclear energy; and 3) protect the people and the environment now and in the future against the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.
Under the bill, the PhilATOM would be an independent authority. It would have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to exercise regulatory control for the peaceful, safe and secure use of nuclear energy and radiation sources in the country. All regulatory functions of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute would be transferred to the PhilATOM.
Before the Committee approved the bill, Rep. Cojuangco noted the proposed amendment of Rep. Raoul Manuel (Party-list, Kabataan) to Section 10 which relates to transparency and protection of information on the use of nuclear energy. Rep. Manuel proposed that “all information pertaining to risks involving the nuclear facilities and incidents and abnormal occurrences that could have an impact on public health, safety and the environment must be made public in a timely and accessible manner.”
Rep. Cojuangco moved that the panel retain what is already stated in Section 10, paragraph b, saying that the terms “risks… and abnormal occurrences” proposed by Rep. Manuel were rather alarmist. The panel approved Rep. Cojuangco’s motion.
Rep. Cojuangco saw the Committee’s approval of the measure as “a cause for celebration. Now we have the bill passed by the committee and hopefully, it will be carried also on the floor on second and third reading.”
Philippine Ambassador to Vienna Peachy Natividad congratulated the committee “for this excellent work that you have done, the painstaking hours of discussions and deliberations to push forward our nuclear law that would definitely benefit our people and future generations.”
She assured the Committee that the proposal has the full support of the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA. She said the director general of the IAEA is looking forward to visiting the Philippines this May to boost and extend whatever support the agency can to the task being pushed by Congress.
The panel likewise adopted House Resolution 853 filed by APEC Party-list Rep. Sergio Dagooc and PHILRECA Party-list Rep. Presley de Jesus, urging the Department of Energy to entertain, negotiate and enter into intergovernmental agreements for the establishment and operation of nuclear energy power generating facilities in the Philippines.