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Cayetano to deep-dive into Nuclear Regulation Act in Monday Senate Hearing

PHILIPPINES, February 12 - Press Release
February 12, 2024

Cayetano to deep-dive into Nuclear Regulation Act in Monday Senate Hearing

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is set to further review on Monday the proposed Philippine Nuclear Regulation Act which aims to establish a regulatory framework for the usage of radioactive materials in various industries across the Philippines.

This comes after an initial Senate hearing held on December 2, 2023 where Cayetano, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, emphasized that the bill is focused on regulation, not on establishing a new nuclear power plant.

"Doon sa mga may agam-agam, may doubt sa nuclear power plant, nuclear energy: this bill is not to put up one (nuclear power plant). It's precisely to have the institution and the right people to be able to assess [the use of nuclear energy]," he said.

The Senate hearing on Monday holds critical sway over the Philippines' nuclear future. It tackles key issues such as safe radioactive use, public safety, and building trust in the technology, among others.

The proposed Philippine Nuclear Regulation Act is part of a broader legislative effort that includes House Bill No. 9293, known as the "Philippine National Nuclear Energy Safety Act," which proposes creating the Philippine Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (PhilATOM).

This independent body aims to license facilities using radioactive materials, including hospitals with radiology services and ensure safe and secure utilization of nuclear energy in the country.

Cayetano earlier expressed his support for DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) Director Vallerie Ann Samson who had stressed that nuclear energy is not only used for power generation but also for agriculture, medicine, and other industries.

"I'm happy that we're tackling this early in the administration kasi kung mid-term na o pahuli na, maipasa man ito, y'ung implementation [sa susunod na administration pa]," he said.

As the Senate hearing approaches, stakeholders and experts are expected to provide further insights into the proposed legislation and its potential implications for the Philippines' energy landscape, environment, economy, and public health.

Last year, apart from the experts who participated in the initial Senate hearing, many other guests from other sectors also attended to learn more about the proposed law. Among them was Barangay Captain Eriberto "Bobot" Ibarra of Palatiw, Pasig City who urged the public to be informed about the agenda.

"Hindi sila dapat matakot kasi nga ito ay araw-araw halos nang ginagamit sa ospital. Hindi lang tayo aware kung ano itong mga ito. [Kaya] maglalagay sila ng nuclear department para magkaroon tayo ng awareness at magkaroon tayo ng safety doon sa mga ginagamit na kemikal," he said.


Cayetano, susuriin ang Nuclear Regulation Act sa muling pagdinig nito sa Senado

Nakatakdang suriing muli ni Senador Alan Peter Cayetano sa Lunes ang panukalang Philippine Nuclear Regulation Act na naglalayong magtatag ng regulatory framework para sa paggamit ng radioactive materials sa iba't ibang industriya sa buong Pilipinas.

Sa naunang pagdinig ng Senado noong December 2, 2023, binigyang-diin ni Cayetano, na siyang chair ng Senate Committee on Science and Technology, na ang panukalang batas ay nakatuon sa regulasyon, hindi sa pagtatatag ng bagong nuclear power plant.

"Doon sa mga may agam-agam, may doubt sa nuclear power plant, nuclear energy: this bill is not to put up one (nuclear power plant). It's precisely to have the institution and the right people to be able to assess [the use of nuclear energy]," wika niya.

Malaki ang epekto ng pagdinig nito sa Lunes sa posibilidad ng paggamit ng nuclear energy sa Pilipinas. Tatalakayin sa Senado ang mga pangunahing isyu tulad ng ligtas na paggamit ng radioactive materials, kaligtasan ng publiko, at pagbuo ng tiwala ng publiko sa teknolohiya.

Ang iminungkahing Philippine Nuclear Regulation Act ay bahagi ng isang mas malawak na pagsusulong nito kasama ng House Bill No. 9293, o ang "Philippine National Nuclear Energy Safety Act," na nagmumungkahi ng paglikha ng Philippine Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (PhilATOM).

Bilang independent body, nilalayon nitong bigyan ng lisensya ang mga pasilidad na gumagamit ng mga radioactive materials, tulad ng mga ospital na may mga serbisyo sa radiology, at tiyakin ang ligtas na paggamit ng nuclear energy sa bansa.

Nauna nang ipinahayag ni Cayetano ang kanyang suporta kay DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) Director Vallerie Ann Samson, na idiniin na ang nuclear energy ay hindi lamang ginagamit para sa power generation kundi maging sa agrikultura, medisina, at iba pang industriya.

"I'm happy that we're tackling this early in the administration kasi kung mid-term na o pahuli na, maipasa man ito, y'ung implementation [sa susunod na administration pa]," wika ng senador.

Sa nalalapit na pagdinig ng Senado, inaasahang magbigay ng karagdagang kaalaman ang mga eksperto at stakeholders sa proposed bill at ang mga potensyal na implikasyon nito sa energy landscape, kapaligiran, ekonomiya, at kalusugan ng publiko sa bansa.

Bukod sa mga ekspertong nakilahok sa inisyal na pagdinig ng Senado, marami pang bisita mula sa ibang sektor ang dumalo para malinawan sa panukalang batas.

Kabilang sa mga ito si Barangay Captain Eriberto "Bobot" Ibarra ng Palatiw, Pasig City na hinimok ang publiko na maging bukas at pag-aralan ang plano ng mga mambabatas.

"Hindi sila dapat matakot kasi nga ito ay araw-araw halos nang ginagamit sa ospital. Hindi lang tayo aware kung ano itong mga ito. [Kaya] maglalagay sila ng nuclear department para magkaroon tayo ng awareness at magkaroon tayo ng safety doon sa mga ginagamit na kemikal," wika niya.

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