Claim: President Marcos Jr. will have his nuclear power plant while he is president
Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may be so gung-ho about reviving nuclear energy in the country that he mentioned it in his State of the Nation Address.
And then he had his son Senior Deputy Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Alexander Marcos propose a special committee on nuclear energy last August 9.
Assuming the father and son will railroad their proposal, will we have a nuclear plant within Bongbong’s term?
The most likely answer is “No.”
Even before President Marcos was able to sit down as president, an Energy Undersecretary was already saying that it would take seven to eight years just for the approval.
Then DOE Usec. Gerardo Erquiza Jr., a lawyer, said last May that the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) would have to be amended before the state can construct a nuclear plant because the law said that only the private sector is allowed to go into power generation. He said that EPIRA took that power from the National Power Corporation.
He said that coming out with a legal framework alone to fund a nuclear power plant will take the country seven to eight years.
Even Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that building a nuclear plant from scratch could take seven years.
In the same article, it was said that a South Korean state firm commissioned by the Philippines to make a feasibility study about reopening the much-maligned Bataan Nuclear Plant said that it would take five years to revive it.
Again, this is if there are no legal impediments to the revival of the nuclear plant.
President Duterte was the first to seriously consider coming out with a nuclear plant but it didn’t come off the ground within his term.
And it seems President Marcos will not get his nuclear plant within his term unless…he extends his term.
Why we fact-checked this: Coming out with political promises is easy if we don’t know how the law works.
Photo from the Philippine Senate.