Sunday, February 07, 2016

IPR and Innovation 30, Patents and pharma issues in Asia in 2007

The first time that I attended a formal discussion on IPR issues like patents of newly-invented medicines was nearly 9 years ago, during the 1st Pacific Rim Policy Exchange in Hawaii. There was one special topic on IPR-busting policies like issuance of compulsory licensing (CL), special CL, "international exhaustion" of a patent worldwide once a patent has expired in one country.

I just found my notes last night, no soft copy, so I took photos of one brief handout. The speaker was from an innovator company. He said that below were the important issues in the industry, ie circa 2007.



For the Philippines, the main issue that time was the "cheaper medicines bill" that later became the Cheaper Medicines Act of 2008 (RA 9502) via amendment of the Intellectual Property Code (IPC). Among the important IPR provisions of the bill were:

-- encourage parallel importation by implementing the principle of "international exhaustion" for patents and trademarks of innovator pharma products,
-- easier process to issue CL by eliminating some of the safeguards provided at the WTO TRIPS Agreement, and
-- deny new patents for new uses and indications of pharmaceutical compounds.

For Indonesia, the issue based on media reports, was that the Ministry of Health was considering issuing a CL for certain popular innovator medicines. In Malaysia, either a price control or CL, and data exclusivity via FTAs.

Singapore and Japan (and S. Korea?) seemed to be the only Asian countries where IPR protection of newly-invented medicines and vaccines was not a problem.

I thanked the International Policy Network (IPN) and the Property Rights Alliance (PRA), two of the 6 co-sponsors of the Hawaii conference, for giving me the opportunity to attend such a great forum.

Among the photos (I combined 2-in-1 here) in that event, from left: Martin Krause (ESEADE, Argentina), me, Julian Morris (IPN, UK), Alec van Gelder (also from IPN), and Barun Mitra (Liberty Institute, India)
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Privatization 12: PH government corporations sold, retained as of 2007

I just found a hard copy of my paper presented at the 1st Pacific Rim Policy Exchange, held at Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, Hawaii, in late May 2007 or nearly 9 years ago. The event was jointly sponsored by the Americans for Tax Reforms (ATR), Property Rights Alliance (PRA), International Policy Network (IPN), Grassroot Institute Hawaii (GIH), and a Japanese foundation.

Below is the 5-pages Annex of my paper, the list of PH GOCCs and GFIs. Those that were fully privatized, those that were retained.


Hundreds of government corporations, typical 70s and 80s model of "state as saviour, planner, businessman" model. From agriculture to manufacturing, energy, shipping, banking, there were hundreds of government corporations.



One big problem in government for taxpayers -- once a government agency, a bureau or department or corporation or university, etc. is created, they almost always become permanent. If they lose money (very often they do), no problem for them because the DOF and Congress will simply set aside and appropriate money to bail them out.


Saturday, February 06, 2016

Energy 57, Tony la Vina's anti-coal alarmism

Aside from Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Oxfam and other big environmental NGOs, one prominent anti-coal (and anti-fossil fuels, anti-mining, anti-...) crusader to "save the planet" is Atty. Tony la Vina, outgoing Dean of the Ateneo School of Government. 

In his 3 recent columns (January 16, January 26, February 06, 2016) in The Standard, he articulated various anti-coal alarmism claims, below. I added some data and 2 articles from WUWT by Eric Worral. 


The various "planet saviours" celebrated big time last December during the UN FCCC's COP 21 in Paris, saying they signed a deal that will further limit fossil fuels like coal. But look at the chart -- coal power is projected to experience the biggest rise and share to total global energy use. See WUWT, Is our certain fate a coal-burning climate apocalypse? No! July 21, 2015.

In Tony LV's article today in The Standard, Coal is not least costly technology, he argued that 

"When we factor in the environmental, health and social impacts of coal on communities—as we should—operating coal-fired power plants bear costs that are unfortunately paid for by people who will be affected the most by the ill effects of CFPPs. These costs are not often accounted for in the electricity price because they are considered externalities."

Really? The clear alternative to coal aside from more natural gas (another fossil fuel) is frequent brownouts, frequent electricity outage. And what happens if there is frequent brownout? (a) More crimes at night as criminals love darkness, (b) more road accidents, (c) more fires as more people use candles, and (d) more air and noise pollution as more people buy and use gensets that noisily run on diesel.

Why? Because electricity from coal comprises more than one-half of actual power production in Luzon grid including Metro Manila in the first half of 2015. Another fossil fuel, natural gas, produced nearly one-third of the grid's actual power generation. In the Visayas grid, coal produces almost 40% of power generation there.


Source: Sec. Zenaida Y. Monsada, ENERGY PROSPECTS FOR THE PHILIPPINES, 
EPDP Conference 2016, 12-13 January 2016, New World Hotel, Makati City.

Tony LV also wrote,

"In a previous column, I described how these pollutants harm the environment; the same also result in adverse health impact. Long-term effects of pollutants from CFPPs include respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological diseases."

Really? As of 2014, Vietnam and Malaysia have nearly 2x coal power consumption than the PH. Taiwan and Indonesia have nearly 4x and 6x coal consumption than PH. S. Korea has nearly 8x and Japan nearly 12x coal consumption than PH. 

Not to mention also huge coal power consumption by Germany, Russia, India, USA and China.


Do we see massive health problems on those countries that have more coal plants than the PH? If one is into emotionalism and alarmism, the answer is Yes. If one is into realism and facts, the answer is No. 

Among the silent goals of anti-coal alarmism and emotionalism is to have more climate junkets, endless global junkets, for many years and decades, as "planet saviours" and climate negotiators. Even Japan considers high tech coal plants as saving the planet. More than 1,000 new coal plants in Asia alone coming up. http://wattsupwiththat.com/.../japan-building-coal.../
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BWorld 41, OFWs, cheap oil and the TPP

* This is my article in BusinessWorld last February 04, 2016.


Labor mobility and migration across countries and continents is a result of push and pull factors in both the labor exporting and labor importing or receiving countries. Labor-surplus countries generally have lower wages and labor skills due to limited employment opportunities while labor-deficit countries generally have higher wages and skills training.

If labor migration is heavily restricted via multiple regulations and permits, taxes and mandatory contributions -- if not prohibited outright -- the wage gap and income inequality between the labor-surplus and labor-deficit countries will worsen.

If labor migration is less restricted, then the wage gap and income inequality between the two group of countries will narrow or lessen. And if such migration is fully allowed and assured, then global wages per industry and sub-industry, wages per skills levels -- other things being equal or held constant -- will move towards equilibrium or near-equality.

Remittances of nationals who are working abroad are among the biggest sources of revenues of both governments and households for many countries in the world today. The top five in remittance inflows worldwide are India, China, Philippines, Mexico, and France. (See Table 1)


In Southeast Asia, learning the trade of labor migration rather quickly aside from the Philippines are Vietnam and Indonesia. From 2004 to 2014 or in just one decade, Vietnam’s remittances have expanded 5.2 times while Indonesia’s have expanded 4.6 times over the same period. Impressive.

In South Asia, besides India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal are also learning the ropes as well. Nepal in particular is very dependent on remittances, which comprise nearly 30% of its GDP in 2014.

In Africa, Nigeria’s remittances have expanded nearly 10 times from 2004 to 2014 and Egypt’s have expanded nearly 6 times. In Europe, Ukraine’s remittances increase over the same period was the fastest in the world, expanded by almost 18 times.

The Philippines’ remittances expansion over the same period was no longer huge as the big jump was experienced in the 80s and 90s. There are differences in the figures by the World Bank (WB) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

For instance, based on BSP data: 2014 remittances reached $24.35B (vs WB’s $28.4B).

For 2015, BSP’s forecast is $25.3B while WB’s forecast is $29.7B. The difference could be due to different accounting method used by the WB that applies to other countries in its global database.

It should be noted that the numbers are only for remittances that pass through the formal banking and remittance centers. They do not include money that are brought in personally by the migrant workers when they come home, or via relatives and close friends co-workers returning home.

Estimates of total remittances in the Philippines via formal financial channels + personal/informal channels range from $35 to $40 billion in 2015 alone.

The Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS), a new and independent, market-oriented think tank in Jakarta, is conducting a comparative study on labor migration by the Philippines and Indonesia, with the explicit goal of learning from the Philippine experience, especially in labor protection during and after deployment.

Based on latest available data from the World Bank, of the top 10 destinations for OFWs in 2013, four are in the Middle East, five in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) bloc, and Italy. (See Table 2)

The current low oil prices and approval of the TPP Agreement will have initial and short-term negative impact on the deployment of OFWs for two reasons.

One, Saudi Arabia and other Middle East economies will demand less foreign workers because of their shrinking revenues from oil exports. And two, the Philippines will temporarily lose out to Vietnam and Malaysia in some services and labor mobility as they are TPP members and hence, will benefit from lower tariff and non-tariff barriers (NTBs) by the big TPP economies like the US, Canada, Japan and Australia.

There are several policy implications and reform measures for the Philippines.

One, reduce the number of permits, procedures, taxes, and fees for both manpower agencies and the prospective OFWs as the competition from upcoming labor exporting economies will become more intense. In this aspect, the Philippines should follow the lead of Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Egypt.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) can shorten the process for private manpower agencies which have good track records over the past 10 years or more.

Currently, the procedures and permits required of new recruitment agencies and those that are 10+ or 20+ years old are the same.

Two, the Philippines should pursue its application for TPP membership. Thailand and Indonesia are almost sure to apply for membership in the next round of membership expansion, they will reap the benefits of bigger market access, both goods and services, to the richer member-economies of TPP.

Three, reduce the business bureaucracies, taxes and fees in the Philippines so that more businesses, local and foreign, will come and stay here. Then more and new local higher-paying jobs will be created, and this will help absorb the workers and professionals from the Middle East who are sent home due to cheap oil.


Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr. is the President of Minimal Government Thinkers, and a Fellow of the South East Asia Network for Development (SEANET). minimalgovernent@gmail.com
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See also:BWorld 15, OFWs, MERS-CoV and the DFA, August 08, 2015

MERS-CoV and OFWs, Part 3, September 04, 2014

Free Trade 63, Dealing with anti-trade lib, anti-TPP activists

Another good article from Wan, CEO of IDEAS in Malaysia, reposting. The photos I just added here and not part of the original article.
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Lessons from the TPPA debate
by Wan Saiful Wan Jan. First published in The Star 2 February 2016

I am pleased that our parliament has voted for Malaysia to sign the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (#‎TPPA). Over three days, both the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara debated the issue and the government won the vote in both chambers.

However I am very disappointed by the way the vote was won. Members of both chambers voted according to their party stance. Both BN and the opposition voted in according the party lines.

If the parties had decided to use the parliamentary whip, then why hold the special session at all? It was a waste of time and money because ultimately no one used any brainpower in making their decisions. Their parties decided for them.

Together with colleagues from IDEAS, I was in parliament on the day of the special sitting to persuade the MPs to support our entry into the TPPA. I met some BN MPs who were against the #‎TPP and I also met some opposition MPs who were supportive of the TPPA. It was a shame that none of them could speak their true mind in parliament.

I would have preferred for the elected representatives to follow their conscience. Then the special session would have meant something.

Nevertheless now that the vote is over, let us take stock of what happened. If we look at the past three years leading up to the vote, we must say kudos to the anti-liberalisation activists spearheading the campaign against the TPPA. They were persistent, consistent and determined.


The anti-liberalisation movement operates globally and have never failed to mobilise demonstrations when major trade deals are being decided. There have been anti-liberalisation rallies at the meetings of the World Bank, G8, the World Trade Organisations, and more, in various countries around the world. The movement has now become more organised in Malaysia.

Their strategy is almost always the same globally. Focus on spreading doubts and fear. Repeat the same mantra over and over again. Tell the public that the issue is too complex for anybody to understand it all. Organise the campaign early and don’t wait for the official text because the actual enemy is liberalisation while the actual text is just a tool.

Force the public to compartmentalise the issues rather than analysing the deal holistically. If one issue is answered, quickly move on to the next one without acknowledging the clarification for the earlier issue. Use selective data and statistics, and discredit others’ studies using any means necessary. Ask detailed questions like “what is the impact of ISDS?” but spread a generic message such as “America is evil” so that while the other side is busy explaining boring technical facts, they can focus on their more “sexy” rhetorical propaganda.

As a campaign strategy, they were effective. Many MPs I spoke to expressed fear to vote for the TPPA because they felt that they would be voting against “the people”. The anti-liberalisation activists campaigned loud and long enough to create the impression that they represent public opinion.

The reality is the opposite. A Pew Research Centre Spring 2015 Global Attitude Survey asked Malaysians “Would the TPPA be a good thing for our country or a bad thing?”. Only 18 percent said that it would be a bad thing.

The main lesson I learnt from the whole saga is that you cannot allow others to determine how you dance. If you try to do that, you might win some battles but you will not be able to cope in the overall war.

In the case of the TPPA, yes parliament may have passed the motion for us to sign it. But that is just one tiny battle. I am pretty certain that if we check the general temperature in the country now, we will find that the anti-liberalisation sentiment has been strengthened. In the overall effort to liberalise the economy, pro-reform initiatives are not winning and may have become weaker.

As a result, we shouldn’t be surprised if a more organised opposition is mounted when we go into FTA negotiations with the EU, the European Free Trade Association, other RCEP partners, and more. The TPPA experience has emboldened the anti-liberalisation groups and they will become more effective in the future.

But please don’t get me wrong. I am not at all saying that this is a negative development. On the contrary I feel it is healthy that the public policy arena is becoming more hotly contested. It is a sign of a maturing society. Now those who want to see less protectionism and more competition to benefit the consumers must become more organised too.

And let me make another important clarification too. Even though I think these anti-liberalisation campaigners are wrong, I believe they are good people who are passionate about their cause. They are campaigning not because they want to damage this country but because they love it.

What we need to do is to continue the debate on public policy in a healthy way. Differences are normal and when it comes to public policy, there will always be contestations.

Most of the thought-leaders at the top celebrate these differences. They can challenge each other in a heated argument, while sipping a friendly teh o ais and munching pisang goreng. Just as those higher up can be civil to one another, so must we.
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Friday, February 05, 2016

Energy 56, Cost effectiveness of different energy sources

Among the presentations  that I enjoyed during the EPDP  Conference  2016 last month  held at New World Hotel in Makati were the UPSE graduate student papers. There were 5 papers from 5 presenters, all good. In particular, I like this paper by Ms. Bajaro, reposting here.
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The Cost-Effectiveness of the Energy Sources in the Philippines
By DONNA FAYE E. BAJARO


This proposal seeks to analyze the least cost-effective energy technologies in the Philippines. Specifically, this intends to know the following:

i. Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE)
ii. Levelized Avoided Cost of Energy (LACE)
iii. Net Value of LCOE and LACE

* Depletable resource like coal is relegated as dispatchable while renewable resources are classified as intermittent generating technologies.

* This study calculates and compares the LCOE and the LACE of dispatchable generating technology, i.e. coal, and intermittent generating technologies during the off-peak period and peak period.


Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) – stream of equal payments normalized over the expected energy production that would allow the system operator to recover all costs, which reflects the capital and operating costs of deploying and running new utility-scale generation capacity of any given type, over a predetermined financial life.



Levelized Avoided Cost of Energy (LACE) –a measure of what it would cost the grid to meet the demand that is otherwise displaced by a new generation project


The net value is being used for the comparison of the cost-effectiveness of each energy source since it determines if the economic value exceeds the costs.

Net Value = LACE - LCOE



Results and Discussion (LCOE)

Geothermal has the lowest LCOE while coal and biomass have the highest values during the off-peak and peak periods. As compared to geothermal, coal is 77 times while biomass, unlike the other intermittent technologies, is 150 times higher during the off-peak periods. Moreover, coal is 41 times and biomass is 79 more costly during peak periods.

Notice that the energy produced by the intermittent technologies with zero fuel cost are the cheap ones. These are geothermal, wind, solar, and hydropower, respectively.

Results and Discussion (LACE)

In 2012, the average spot price of electricity in the Philippines is PhP5.08 per kWh (Almendras, 2012) which could possibly increase by a factor of 10 within a day because electricity is costly to store (Borenstein, 2012). See Table 2

Geothermal and hydropower have higher LACE estimates than wind and solar.
Biomass has the least LACE value and is ten times lower than coal.
The increase in the variance of the energy supply, which is largely attributed to the intermittent technologies, contributes to the risk of system outage that consequently incurs large welfare losses. System outage happens when the supply could not meet its demand (Gowrisankaran, 2011).
Thus, dispatchable technologies like coal have the greatest advantage.

Results and Discussion (Net Value)
See Table 2

In this base case scenario, coal gives the highest positive net value, and biomass yields the only negative net value making it the least cost-effective. Take note that biomass is PhP2.81 per kWh lower than coal, that is 273% significantly lower.



Coal and biomass are still the most expensive energy sources while geothermal remains to be the cheapest. Moreover, coal, hydropower, and geothermal have the highest potential revenue. This means that the producers must invest more in these three. However, biomass has the potential loss of PhP1.57-1.79 per kWh.


Conclusion and Policy Recommendation

Even if the cost of generation of coal is one of the highest, its avoided cost is still the lowest since it is dispatchable, i.e. it can be supplied at any amount regardless of the weather conditions. This gives the highest positive net value among the energy sources. This implies that the production of electricity using the coal technology is the most profitable, and therefore, cost-effective.



The country must continue the utilization of the (CHG), and more importantly, the exploration and development of coal and allocates the produced electricity to Visayas and Mindanao.
Consistent with the policy thrusts of the Philippine EnergyPlan2012-2030 (DOE,2012).

The Philippines has 19 coal districts thanks. Insitu coal reserves of 2,268.4 million metric tonnes (MMT) at a minimum out of approximately 2.3 billion metric tonnes of potential reserves.

The assumptions are longer time horizons, and perfect substitutability of the depletable and the renewable resources.

There will come a time that the depletable resource will be fully exhausted, and at the switch or transition point, the use of renewable resource is on the onset. Therefore, the country must utilize the coal until it is completely exhausted and it is no longer cost-effective even if there are left coal reserves on the ground (Tietenbergand Lewis, 2011).
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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

EFN Asia 55, Presentation by Tom Palmer in Bhutan 2015

Among the theoretical presentations during the EFN Asia Conference 2015 in Bhutan was made by Tom Palmer of Atlas. Reposting some slides and other discussions, in italics, below.


Happiness and Satisfaction.
Happiness, if understood as joy or contentment, it may be present today and gone tomorrow.
Life satisfaction, on the other hand, seems both more stable and easier to compare across cultures.


“The poor man's son, whom heaven in its anger has visited with ambition, when he begins to look around him, admires the condition of the rich.. ... He thinks if he had attained all these, he would sit still contentedly, and be quiet, enjoying himself in the thought of the happiness and tranquillity of his situation. He is enchanted with the distant idea of this felicity. …. To obtain the conveniencies which these afford, he submits in the first year, nay in the first month of his application, to more fatigue of body and more uneasiness of mind than he could have suffered through the whole of his life from the want of them. … With the most unrelenting industry he labours night and day to acquire talents superior to all his competitors. … he makes his court to all mankind; he serves those whom he hates, and is obsequious to those whom he despises." -- Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments




There are some problems with their analysis

• The distinction focuses on broad participation and constraints on power, but constraints need not be participatory, e.g.:
– Independent judiciary
– Independent central bank
– Division of powers, federalism, etc.

• Political institutions can be extractive and broad based at the same time
• The biggest logical problem they miss is that extractive is not the contrary of inclusive; exclusive is the contrary of inclusive
• And the biggest concrete problem they miss is populist cronyism
• Populism promises mass predation on the middle classes, “plutocrats,” or economic minorities

• And inevitably – Results in cronyism and empowered elites

The damage of extractive regimes can be undone, however, with a program of inclusive economic growth
• Democratic and broadbased reforms that make clear promises of shared prosperity can succeed
• Inclusive politically because they are broadbased and pluralistic, &
• Inclusive economically because they “allow and encourage participation by the great mass of people in economic activities” 




Inclusive Growth Requires Economic Freedom and Limited, Effective Government.
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See also:
EFN Asia 51, Draft program, Day 1 of Conference 2015, November 05, 2015 
EFN Asia 52, The 5 fishbowls of economic freedom in Asia, November 20, 2015 
EFN Asia 53, Successful Conference 2015 has ended, November 25, 2015 

EFN Asia 54, On Hong Kong and China, free trade and CEPA, January 27, 2016 

FNF forum with Tom Palmer, July 15, July 23, 2010
UP Forum with Tom Palmer, July 15, July 23, 2010

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Energy 55, Old renewables and coal are cool, complementary and not contradictory

* This is my article in SPARK by ADRi last January 26, 2016.



Old renewables and coal are cool, they are complementary and not contradictory
January 29, 2016

Bienvenido Oplas, Jr., Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute (ADRi) Fellow

Darkness and lack of electricity is inhuman. Having expensive and unstable electricity supply when cheaper and stable power sources are available is wrong and lousy. When many streets and roads are dark at night because local governments or private subdivisions are economizing on their monthly electricity bills and power supply is limited, there are two negative social consequences: more vehicular accidents and more crimes. Criminals love darkness where their victims cannot see or recognize them.

And when there is frequent power outages and brownouts, there are two other negative social consequences: more fires when more people use candles more frequently, or more noise and pollution as some people turn on their generator sets that  run on expensive fuel, diesel.

These are crimes against humanity, the poor especially, that the “limit/kill coal” movement does not take into serious consideration.

Among the cheap and stable energy sources that the country should further take advantage of is coal. While many environmental activists view coal as “enemy” of sustainable development, this is a misguided view. In the Philippines, coal power plays a complementary and non-contradictory role to renewables development.   Here’s why.

One, without coal and natural gas, the Philippines will be as dark at night as North Korea and other underdeveloped countries experiencing daily “Earth hours”.

In Luzon grid, coal + natural gas + oil have produced 86.6 percent of total power generation in the first half of 2015. The “old renewables” hydro and geothermal contributed 12.5 percent while the “new renewables” wind, solar and biomass contributed only 1.0 percent, very small.

In the Visayas grid, coal and geothermal provide the bulk of power generation and in Mindanao, it is hydro, oil and coal.

The actual power generation of coal + natural gas of 84.4 percent are much larger than their power capacity of 61.2 percent of total dependable capacity in the Luzon grid. This means that power plants that use these two fuel types are producing more electricity at stable supply and cheaper prices than other power plants that use oil and geothermal, hydro (low supply during dry months) and new renewables (unstable supply and expensive).

Two, in the Meralco generation cost, power plants that run on coal (TLI, MPPC and SCPC) provide cheaper electricity, although power plants that run on natural gas (SPPC-Ilijan, FGPC-Sta. Rita and FGPC-San Lorenzo) provide the bulk of power generation. Exception is QPPLC that also run on coal but the price is comparable to natural gas power plants.

Table 1. Generation Charge (GC) of Meralco’s Power Suppliers, Dec. 2014 vs. Dec. 2015, in P/kWh

Source: Meralco, “Computation of the Generation Charge”, 

Three, compared to many developed and emerging Asian economies, coal power consumption in the Philippines is actually small. And while coal power consumption of the US, Russia, Germany and Poland have declined compared to a decade ago, the amount remains big.

The claim therefore by some sectors and observers that coal power is the enemy of sustainable growth of the Philippines is based on subjective and non-objective point of view. Their proposal to outright banning of coal and use only renewables (old and new), is based on emotionalism and alarmism.

For now at least, coal-powered plants are still the most dependable sources of power generation. Given the country’s need for immediate additional power generation to meet the demands a growing Philippines, the need for coal-fired plants is still there.

With regard to developing renewables, however, the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) projects that the country has vast potentials in three “new” renewables: wind, solar and biomass. Currently, the “traditional” renewables dominate the renewable energy market: large hydropower and geothermal energy.

There is a continuing debate in the country as to how much the new renewables should be inputted in the energy mix. As shown in the above table, while the cost of mostly coal and natural gas from different power plants can be as low as P3.87/kWh, the guaranteed and fixed generation price of solar and wind are P9.68 and P8.53/kWh respectively, or nearly 3x. This will not help the country escape from the unhealthy label of having the “second most expensive electricity in Asia next to Japan.”

So while a balanced energy mix of both renewable and non-renewable sources of energy should be pursued, policy makers should keep in mind these two important factors in determining the optimal mix: stability and affordability of power for the consumers and businesses alike.
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