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Strengthening the Legal Framework of the Philippines for its Nuclear Power Programme


IAEA representatives held an awareness meeting in Congress, chaired by HE Mark Cojuangco,  Congressman and Chair of the Special Committee on Nuclear Energy of the House of Representatives.  (Photo: PNRI)

The Philippines is working to establish its national nuclear infrastructure, following its decision in 2022 to include nuclear power in the country's energy mix. A critical piece of this infrastructure is the needed legal framework for the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

To support the country in strengthening its legal framework, and at the request of the Government, an IAEA Legislative Assistance Mission was conducted from 2 to 5 May 2023. A series of awareness meetings with decision‐makers, policy-makers, senior officials and parliamentarians, provided an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of the Philippines joining and implementing the instruments adopted under the IAEA auspices in the areas of nuclear safety, security, safeguards and liability.

During the three-day national workshop on nuclear law, Carlo Arcilla, Director of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) said that “the Philippines has signed but not yet ratified the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Joint Convention and the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC).

“Through highlighting the rights, obligations, benefits, and costs arising from joining these instruments, the mission has strengthened our resolve to become party to them and to continue pursuing the strengthening of our legal framework,” Arcilla said.  

The mission engaged sixty-two participants from eighteen different governmental bodies, organizations, and parliamentarians, including, the Congress of the Philippines, PNRI, the Department of Energy and the Department of Science and Technology

Carlo Arcilla, Director of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI),  at the three-day national workshop on nuclear law. (Photo: PNRI)

During the bilateral discussions on the national nuclear law, Congressman Mark Cojuangco and Chair of the Special Committee on Nuclear Energy of the House of Representatives said, “this legislative assistance mission comes at an important time for us. Significantly, the mission provided a forum to bring together senior officials and representatives of the Congress to discuss the elements of a comprehensive national nuclear legal framework.”  

Countries embarking on a nuclear power programme, such as the Philippines, are following the IAEA Milestones Approach on the development of national infrastructure for nuclear power. The legal framework is one of the 19 specific infrastructure issues that need to be addressed during the three progressive phases of infrastructure development. Already in 2018, the IAEA was requested to conduct an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission to assess the status of Philippines' nuclear power infrastructure development.

Head of the IAEA's Nuclear and Treaty Law Section, Anthony Wetherall, highlighted that “for an embarking country, such as the Philippines, the timely establishment of an adequate and comprehensive legal framework for planned facilities and activities as well as existing ones, is a must. We will continue providing legislative assistance, upon request, to help the country join the instruments and strengthen its national nuclear legal framework.”

This mission, implemented in the framework of the IAEA Legislative Assistance Programme, is one of many activities conducted under the technical cooperation programme to support Member States in establishing and enhancing their national legal frameworks. The Philippines has received legislative assistance since 2009, and representatives from the Philippines visited the IAEA in Vienna in 2018 and 2017.

IAEA staff and expert together with representatives from the Philippines.(Photo: PNRI)

Last update: 11 Jul 2023

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