Posts Tagged ‘presidentiables stand on issues’

on nuclear energy : aquino, de los reyes, madrigal & perlas no to nukes; gordon, teodoro, villanueva and villar yes to nukes

March 15, 2010 7 comments

PDI has an excellent series of articles, “Talk Of The Town” where they ask all the presidentiables their stand on issues and topics. We are printing here the latest installement. 

Stand on nuke energy, power crisis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:26:00 03/13/2010

THE COUNTRY has been hit by outages as a result of low-generating capacity of hydroelectric plants due to the dry spell, and the breakdown and maintenance of power plants. Mindanao is particularly hard hit, suffering from rolling brownouts lasting 8 to 10 hours a day.

The shortfall in the country’s power supply has brought into focus the need to come up with additional sources of electricity.

Two provinces – Pangasinan and Cebu – have expressed interest in nuclear power.

Whether the country will adopt nuclear-power technology will depend on the policy of the next President.

Talk of the Town asked the following questions to the presidential candidates to get a sense of their position on nuclear power and the energy shortfall.

Are you in favor of nuclear power to address the power shortage?

Why? Why not?

If you’re in favor, would you revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant?

Isn’t it too costly to pursue a nuclear program?

How will safety concerns be addressed? (Earthquakes, storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel)

Benigno Aquino III
Liberal Party

I would rather exhaust other means than resort to nuclear power. We have other perceivably safer sources of renewable energy.

Nuclear energy has reemerged as an option to satiate the world’s present and future electricity needs. However, it continues to face “social acceptability” problems because of fears about the safety of its use. There are other sources of energy that have less chances of endangering the lives of people.

In the case of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, it has a large amount of documented safety hazards and may pose a threat to the safety and/or well-being of the residents around it.

The challenge for both government policymakers and private-sector stakeholders lies in exploring and developing energy resources safely, economically and in an environmentally responsible manner. The pace of development must also be efficient and timely to meet forecast demand.

Neither renewables nor fossil fuels and nuclear power can bring immediate “energy self-sufficiency.” We must pursue an optimal mix of sources of energy immediately and aggressively if we hope to meet our future needs. The energy mix should be able to reduce risks associated with the supply, price volatility and production cost.

The government must also take an active role in pushing for a comprehensive competition policy. Submitted by Aquino’s staff


Manuel Villar
Nacionalista Party

Yes (I’m in favor of nuclear power to address the power shortage.)

At this point where there is an energy crisis, all options are open. The availability of more safe and environment-friendly nuclear technology and the experience of other nations using it should be reason enough to pursue it.

An experts’ commission (from the Department of Transportation and Communication, Department of Energy, academe and private sector) should be created to reassess the feasibility of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Primary concerns that should be addressed by them are the safety issues and the economics of reviving it and its potential to address the perennial energy crisis we are experiencing.

I have always been a cost-benefit kind of manager. The costs should be weighed against the benefits. If in the long run nuclear technology solves the crisis in power, this will bring in more investments to our economy and open up opportunities for the people.

How will safety concerns be addressed (earthquakes, storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel)?

This is the reason why there is a need for a thorough study participated in by the experts and all stakeholders, so we can look at safety concerns and to make sure that the undertaking will work for our benefit and not harm us in any way. Submitted by Villar’s staff


Joseph Estrada
Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino

Countries like Taiwan are using nuclear power for electricity. Why can’t we do that? I’m in favor of using the nuclear power plant but we have to transfer the location (from Bataan) because it is near an earthquake fault. We should use it.

We paid for it for many years. It was only recently that it was fully paid. However, since it is near a fault line, why not relocate it?

The government should have anticipated the power crisis. With the growth of our population, there really would be a shortage in energy. There were independent power producers before but our experience only resulted in more graft and corruption. There should be no sovereign or government guarantees.

I’m in favor of alternate sources of energy such as geothermal energy. I’m in favor of anything that would help solve our power crisis. Interview by Norman Bordadora


Richard Gordon

I am in favor of using nuclear power. It is really, in the long run, much cheaper.

The only problem with nuclear waste is how to store it. But it is clean in the long run.

Besides, there are nuclear plants all around us. Taiwan has a nuclear plant. Japan has a nuclear plant.

What is the alternative? It now seems that we can’t do anything right. It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t with dams. You don’t want coal.

In our country, we keep putting fear and doubt in our aspirations. It is necessary that we learn to accept that if other countries are capable, we are also capable.

The other countries trust our sailors with their lives at sea. They trust our pilots to fly airplanes. I don’t see why we cannot do this with nuclear power.

Regarding the debate about the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, I will have to consult the people there first. It seems like a disgrace that we paid for it and we never got a single volt of power from there.

If the people of Bataan will approve it, then I am not afraid of it. But if the people will be against it because they have studied the issue carefully, then that is also OK. Interview by Edson C. Tandoc Jr.

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presidentiables stand on population growth

March 7, 2010 7 comments

we are publishing here the whole article published by PDI on the presidentiable’s stand on population growth.


How they stand on population
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:51:00 03/06/2010

MANILA, Philippines—Talk of the Town is running the stand of presidential candidates on a number of issues, starting with the country’s fast-growing population, now estimated at more than 92 million.

We asked the candidates the following questions:

* Under your administration, what would be your population policy?

* Are you in favor of artificial family planning methods like pills, condoms and IUDs?

* Do you support proposals to teach sex education in all schools, public and private, starting Grade 5?

* Do you think the country’s population growth stunts socioeconomic development and aggravates poverty?

* What is your stand on the reproductive health bill? Has your position changed? Why? (House Bill No. 5043 calls for sex education in all schools starting Grade 5 and the promotion of contraceptives, among other things.)

Except for Benigno Aquino III and Manuel Villar, whose staff submitted their respective answers, the candidates were interviewed by Inquirer reporters covering the presidential campaign.


Benigno Aquino III
Liberal Party

My administration will fully support the crafting of a firm policy that will address the serious problem on population. It will be based on the idea of responsible parenthood: imposing on parents that they should play a key role in ensuring that each and every child they bring into this world has the opportunity to lead a good life, and educating them about the means with which to plan their families so they can create families based on their ability to sustain their needs.
In the process of providing a range of options and information to couples, both natural family planning and modern methods shall be presented.

Children’s access to media, especially the Internet, necessitates an earlier (sex) education for them to be able to act as responsible adults. The sex education curriculum should be morally sound, has to be derived from reliable sources and delivered by responsible educators.

If we intend to maximize our resources and ensure that the basic needs of every citizen are met, the population issue has to be addressed. For instance, even now, we sorely lack textbooks and classrooms to accommodate our current student population. While this is also a problem because of corruption, it will be more difficult to fix the situation if we have to keep up with a soaring population.

I believe the reproductive health bill must be examined. One of the points I wish to interpellate is the bill’s provision of a hospital budget for contraceptives. If government hospitals will have it, that means there’s a budget for it. There is a truism that if you have a budget and you don’t spend it you’ll lose it. This might lead to hospital staff pushing people into using contraceptives instead of presenting them as a choice. There has to be penalties against that. Submitted by Aquino’s staff



Joseph Estrada
Pwersa ng Masa

One of our major problems is (a fast-growing) population. During my time as President, the population growth rate was more than two percent. That means more than a million children were born every year.

We built classrooms but we still lacked classrooms. Hundreds of thousands of children are undernourished. The problem is (lack of) family planning. I am against abortion. With the many problems that we have, I believe that women should be given the freedom to plan the family that they can afford.

Prevention (of pregnancy) is not a crime. Abortion is a crime. Perhaps we can use condoms or other forms of contraception. Do we want our children to become criminals? It would be much more of a burden. Do we want them to become prostitutes? We have to weigh these things.
Interview by Norman Bordadora



Richard Gordon

My population policy is simple: no abortion. I will not make the population as an excuse—95 million people are going to be there when I sit as President. I have been brought up believing that man, if he is properly educated, has a free choice.

Responsible parenthood should be inculcated in our people. But I will not force them. Neither will I spend government funds to curb population. I want a quality population.

A huge population under poor leadership will stunt our development. But good leadership will uplift the capability of our people and use the population as an edge later on.

You will not graduate under my administration in high school without learning a skill that you can work with. The size of our population right now is a disadvantage, but it can be an advantage under the right leader.

It is up to the people to use contraceptives. But I will say: “These are the healthy ones. These are the safe ones.” To me, health and education are No. 1. They go side by side. So I want to pay the teachers well. I want to pay the doctors in the countryside P50,000 each. If I can raise the money the way I want to, I can pay them P70,000 so they can stay in the country.

I am also in favor of sex education in schools, rather than have our children learn it on the street. Sex is a good thing. It should be taught properly. This is important because of the explosion of mass media and the Internet. I would rather have children learn it from their parents or from the school.

I don’t think the RH bill will be approved. I cannot say yes or no to the bill because it will still permutate when it is discussed in Congress. But I am for the responsible use of population and responsible parenthood. If push comes to shove, I would say “if you have more than two children, then you will pay” for the third child’s public education and health services. Interview by Edson Tandoc



Gilberto Teodoro Jr.

My population policy will [be based on] freedom of moral choice. The government should support a moral choice made by the people. We will encourage private sector participation, through NGOs, to inform the people.

I will respect the sanctity of a decision to plan the family based on a moral choice. But once a moral choice is made, the government must support that choice, except for abortion.

If a person makes that moral choice [on artificial family planning methods], based on his conscience, and ask the government for help, then the government must help him.

As a policy, it’s freedom of choice. And that choice should be secret and sacred. The privacy of that choice is important.

I think we were taught reproduction and other elements of sex education in Grade 7 in a Catholic school. So, I think it depends on the school. Let’s make it not a policy but dependent on the school.

It (the country’s population growth) does (stunt socioeconomic development and aggravate poverty) at this stage. We can only provide so much for how many people. But equally important to the economic impact of population is the fact that the Philippines has finite territory and the population is increasing. We have a limited number of resources and many areas are getting more vulnerable because of the effects of climate change.

I originally wanted to support it (RH bill). But I saw the acrimony over the bill and it was not getting anywhere. So, what does that do? Population is still growing. We might have to find another way. And that balance I see is to support a moral choice.

(My position changed) when the debate became heated . As a public figure, you get a sense of the balance and you have to make a judgment call. Is this policy workable or practicable? If it’s not you have to find a way to solve the problem.

When I was a congressman, I never supported any RH bill. Officially I did not support it. But personally, “baka puwede (it might be possible).” Only in this Congress has there been an almost serious attempt to do it, and it has created a lot of acrimony. Interview by TJ Burgonio



Manuel Villar
Nacionalista Party

I am basically prolife. I think the teaching of proper values of how to nurture children and parents’ responsibilities to them should be hammered constantly.

Those (artificial family planning methods) are personal choices and should remain as such. I do respect the people’s independence, freedom of choice with regard to family matters.

It (sex education in all schools) might result in more serious problems if we expose children to the matter of sex at the Grade 5 level.

Our current population should be viewed as an asset and ways should be discovered on how economic growth can be helped by population size. India and China are growing fast and they are the most populated countries in the world.

I’m against it (the RH bill). We should let parents decide. The government should just guide them. Submitted by Villar’s staff

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