Last 3 May 2018, the Strategic Studies Program (SSP) of the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS), together with the Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea (IMLOS), conducted the first of the Building Capacity series of roundtable discussions (RTD), entitled Securitizing Energy: Prospects & Challenges for the Philippines. The RTD focused on the status of energy security in the Philippines with representatives from government agencies, members of the academe, and professionals from various private institutions.
Assistant Professor Nelson Cainghog from the UP Department of Political Science and a fellow of the SSP gave the opening remarks. He expressed the need for these kinds of endeavors which aim to contribute to the discourse on national security. Prof. Cainghog also stated the growing need of the country in terms of energy and expressed hope that this RTD could start a conversation on how to develop policies towards securing adequate sources of energy.
Department of Energy Undersecretary Jesus Cristino P. Posadas presented the policies of the current administration with regard to providing power and securing energy reserves. Dr. Mario Aurelio, the Director of the National Institute of Geological Sciences, gave a presentation on the status of energy in the country from the perspective of a geoscientist. Clarifications were made with regard to the official policies of the Department of Energy and their implications on the policies of other departments, such as those of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Science and Technology. It was also an opportunity to establish connections between the government agencies and the academe as the discussion dealt mostly with how policies crafted and advanced by the country’s policymakers and bureaucrats could complement the technical expertise of the country’s scientists and engineers.
The Building Capacity Series of roundtable discussions focuses on exploring the various kinds of strategic responses the Philippines should adopt in order to build national capacity in the face of changing power dynamics in the international system. The objective of the RTD series is to provide a venue for experts from various fields to discuss and share their insights on selected important matters, with the aim of contributing to the national security and development discourse.