PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte last week signed into law a measure establishing an energy research institute of experts and researchers from both the private and public sectors, the Palace said. 

Mr. Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11572, which establishes the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute, his spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. said at a televised news briefing Monday.

The law enables the institute, an independent agency attached to the University of the Philippines, to study issues and challenges in the energy sector, “including the environment, health, and consumer impacts of energy policies and programs.”

The institute is to collaborate with government agencies, academic institutions, and other stakeholders while remaining independent and ensuring that its research remains uninfluenced by political affiliation, technological bias, “or other presuppositions.”

The law tasks the body to conduct energy-related research and development programs and capacity-building training, with special attention given to the needs of the Department of Energy, the Energy Regulatory Commission, and the legislature.

The institute is to be headed by an executive director, reporting to an executive board composed of seven members with the UP president as ex-officio chairperson, “and at least one representative from the fields of engineering, law, science, statistics, economics, social science, and public health.”

“A Special Account in the General Fund for energy research, which shall be maintained and managed by the Bureau of Treasury, shall be established to support the research undertaken by the Institute,” according to the law.

The law appropriates P200 million for the initial operating funds of the institute.

“Government agencies concerned are hereby authorized to include in their respective annual budget such necessary amounts as their contribution to the funding of certain research activities of the Institute,” it said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza