Philippines LaRouche Society (PLS) Head Butch Valdes Addresses IAEA Conference on Nuclear Power in the Asia-Pacific
Sep. 1 (EIRNS)–The following is a report from Philippines LaRouche Society (PLS) leader Ver Archivido on the speech Wednesday by the head of the PLS Butch Valdes at the IAEA conference in Manila. A transcript will be available soon.
The National Power Institute’s Director Dr. Kenneth Peddicord introduced Antonio Butch Valdes as founder of the Save the Nation movement; a former Undersecretary of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports; a former President of the Asian Institute of Management Alumni Association; and founder of the Philippine LaRouche Society, among other honors.
Butch told the audience the context in which the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant should be viewed. First, the reason it was built, and the resulting effects when it was mothballed in 1986, not only to the Philippines but to the rest of the South East Asian region. And lastly, the Promethean role of nuclear power under the IAEA and others, in bringing the use of fire to the future generations.
The Philippine Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) is the result of US President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace initiative. PAEC is the precursor of the current Philippine Nuclear Energy Institute (PNRI), the organization that had the mandate for the Philippine Nuclear Power Plant in the late 1970s.
The 1972 shift from the Bretton Woods fixed-exchange rates to the floating-exchange rate system has brought the Philippines economy to dramatic decline — imagine a devaluation of the Philippines currency vis-a-vis the dollar by almost 100%. The price of oil became too expensive. President Ferdinand Marcos pushed for an energy development program along with his 11-point industrialization program, which include nuclear energy development.
In 1985, the Philippine Nuclear Power Plant – Unit 1 was ready to start, but was halted by US Ambassador Stephen Bosworth. Then the “People’s Power” EDSA color-revolution happened, President Marcos was ousted, and, in 1986, the nuclear plant was mothballed by President Corazon Aquino.
With the mothballing of the nuclear power plant, and the implementation of the policy of globalization, the Philippines became a service economy, abandoning entirely the plan of being an industrialized nation, a producer economy. The rest of the South East Asian region then failed to go nuclear as well.
Butch concluded by reminding the audience that only man uses fire, i.e. from wood, coal, oil, nuclear, from fission to fusion, matter-anti-matter, and that mankind can solve any problem.
(Two slides on the New Silk Road and the Development Corridors were prepared, but unfortunately were not shown due to time constraints.)
After the conference, a meeting commenced with the DOE Secretary Alfonco Cusi, attended by government organizations PNRI, NPC, DOE, and members/officers of the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Islands (CCPI), former Representative Mark Cojuangco, Butch Valdes, other government officials, and some former engineers and employees of the Bataan nuclear power plant when it started in late 1970s.
Engineer Mauro Marcelo of the National Power Corporation made a presentation on nuclear energy, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in particular. This presentation will be used in order to educate the public, especially the media.
Secretary Cusi said to the press that if it were his sole decision, he would absolutely revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
CCPI President Yulo made recommendations to the DOE Secretary that it is high time that the nuclear plant be revived. He cited 1960s and 1970s statistics showing the Philippines’ leading economic role in ASEAN, which would have been even greater if the nuclear plant had been opened,– but then cited the current situation in 2016, with Philippines having the highest unemployment rate in the ASEAN. Needing a cheap source of energy is a no-brainer, all economies need it, Mr. Yulo said.
Butch Valdes added that while people often associate nuclear energy with electricity, it should be noted that it is also crucial for water, as potable water through desalination can be produced with the heat from the nuclear plant. It then can be used for irrigating the lands of Luzon to create food, solving the water problems of the country.
Secretary Cusi assured then that he will provide a full report to President Duterte.