University of the Philippines (UP) President Danilo Concepcion appointed experts to the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI).
The Institute was created under Republic Act No. 11572, signed into law on July 30, 2021. PERPI is an independent energy research institute attached to the University. It will study recent developments and scientific breakthroughs in energy. It will also identify key policy areas in the Philippines’ energy sector and formulate research-based policies and strategies for cost-effective and environmentally sound use of energy resources. Eventually, the Institute will promote and strengthen research efforts on sustainable, efficient, and indigenous energy resources. Under the law, the PERPI is an independent agency attached to the University of the Philippines, with its budget separate from UP.
PERPI was envisioned by Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, the former Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and author of the law, to be the independent think tank for energy policy and sustainability in the Philippines. [https://powerphilippines.com/gatchalian-proposes-think-tank-for-energy-security-sustainability/] The Institute will spearhead the need to provide research to address policy gaps in the energy sector reforms that will directly benefit the consumers.
The Institute commenced its initial organization with the appointment of the members of the Executive Board of Directors and Executive Director. UP President Concepcion, as ex-officio Chair, administered the oath-taking of the Executive Board last September 17, 2022, at the Executive House in the UP Diliman campus.
The newly appointed members of the Executive Board, who are recognized energy experts from engineering, law, science, economics, and social science, with backgrounds from the academe, public, and private sector, are Atty. Jose M. Layug, Jr., who previously served as Department of Energy Undersecretary and Chair of the National Renewable Energy Board and is currently the President of the Developers of Renewable Energy for AdvanceMent, Inc. (DREAM), a professor at UP College of Law and Dean of the University of Makati School of Law; Atty. Richie Ramos-Pilares, who previously served as Assistant Secretary of the DOE and is currently the Corporate Secretary of DREAM and professor at the Ateneo de Manila School of Law; Dr. Renato E. Reside, Jr., now a Director of Research and Associate Professor at UP School of Economics and an expert in macroeconomics and investment in infrastructure; Engr. Melita V. Obillo, who previously served as DOE Director for the Oil Industry Management Bureau, Director of the Energy Planning and Policy Bureau, and an expert in downstream oil and gas; Assistant Professor Roderick Catriz, currently the Chair of UP Los Baños Electrical Engineering Department and Project Development Associate of the Office of the UPLB Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development; and Engr. Andrea May Caguete, Manager of the Legal Department and currently the spokesperson of the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines with expertise in trading operations of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.
Upon the PERPI Executive Board’s recommendation, Concepcion appointed Ms. Mia Camila Urbano-Africa, an energy sector professional with 15 years of experience, as Executive Director. Ms. Urbano-Africa has a Master’s degree in Petroleum Geoscience. She has worked previously at the DOE Petroleum Resources Development Division and with various petroleum companies in the private sector, most recently as Senior Geologist at PXP Energy Corporation. She was involved in exploring petroleum service contracts in the Philippines, specifically in the Northwest and South Palawan Basins, Cagayan Valley Basin, and the Sulu Sea Basin.
With these appointments, Concepcion declared that the Philippines will now have an institute of academics with a wide range of expertise covering all fields of energy and disciplines.