President Duterte expressed hope that the next administration would consider exploring the use of nuclear energy to address the country’s lack of oil sources but warned of the dangers that nuclear power brings.

President Duterte (RTVM Screenshot)

Duterte said this as he noted the rising prices of oil products amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

In his pre-recorded “Talk to the People” late Monday evening, May 23, the President said that oil “moves economy and the entire trade and commerce of the entire world,” but the Philippines unfortunately does not have it.

He hoped that his apparent successor, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, would consider exploring nuclear energy, especially since his namesake father, the late President Marcos, attempted to start a nuclear power plant in Bataan during his martial law regime.

“We are not yet dito sa (at the) nuclear level, but I hope that the next administration would at least explore now the possibility of itong (this) nuclear [energy]. Tutal ang nag-umpisa naman nito si Marcos noon (After all, it was Marcos who started this back then),” he said.

Unlike oil, Duterte pointed out that nuclear is a good energy source since it will never run out. However, he warned about the risks that come with it.

“Oil is not infinite. Someday it will dry up. It would be good for any government to prepare [for] the possibility of making the transition earlier from fossil fuel to nuclear kasi (because) nuclear is forever,” the President said.

“Kaya lang medyo delikado ito. Kagaya ng sa Chernobyl, Ukraine, nagkaroon ng leak (However, it is dangerous. Like what happened in Chernobyl, Ukraine, where there was a leak), and so there was the radiation. Mabuti na lang all nations contributed to the control or fixing the Chernobyl,” he added.

Considered the worst nuclear disaster in history, the Chernobyl accident of April 1986 resulted from a flawed reactor design that led to numerous fatalities. Although it would be difficult to ascertain the number of deaths because of the tragedy, the United Nations (UN) Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation said that fewer than 100 people died due to the fallout.

However, the same UN committee found that there were 5000 thyroid cancer cases attributed to the accident.

Source: Manila Bulletin (