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Solar power to save gov’t P1.2B

The national government should tap abundant solar power in the Philippine archipelago to free from the treasury P1.2 billion a year in electric bills and channel it to finance its social services programs, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto said yesterday.

Recto has filed Senate Bill No. 268 which, after its enactment into law, would require government agencies to spearhead the use of renewable energy by installing solar panels in public buildings.

The bill, called the “Solar Energy in National Government Offices Act,” mandates the Department of Public Works and Highways, together with the Department of Energy, “to build and retrofit” government buildings and offices with solar energy system.

“Solar energy is the most abundant and fast-to-install power source. It is clean and cheap,” Recto pointed out.

Last year, government offices were projected to spend P12.9 billion on electricity use, or a monthly bill of more than P1 billion. (MARIO B. CASAYURAN)