President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. wants the country to go beyond mineral extraction to actually producing batteries to prop up the local value chain.
The chief executive, however, pointed out that it would need technology and strong industry participation to see this materialize.
The President mentioned in his recent discussions with American businessmen that the Philippines is low in leveraging its mineral resources and floated the possibility of producing batteries in the country with the availability of green metals such as cobalt and nickel.
“As I said, we would like to go beyond just the phase of just extracting the minerals and to actually go vertically integrate that entire activity all the way down to actual battery production,” President Marcos told US businesses during a fireside chat at the Blair House in Washington.
“Since battery production is now going to be or has become such an important part of our businesses with the advent again we always come across this issue with the advent of climate change and the Philippines being vulnerable to the effects of climate change.”
He pointed out that local battery production, with the help of foreign technology and capital, could be a solution for the country’s problems in energy supply and other energy-related issues.
The government, the President said, has been working very hard to move the Philippines’ energy mix from the traditional fossil fuels to renewables, underscoring the great potential of local battery production.
“And the part that batteries will play in that whole system cannot be overstated. And that is why it would be very good if we could bring the industry into the Philippines,” President Marcos added.
“But to do that we need technology, we need of course the capital and the resources to undertake such activities. They are not small projects and so they require major funding and that again is another part of the situation that we have to deal with.”
According to the President, there are many new instruments that encouraged this activity in the last few years such as green bonds and blue bonds and current rules have become very, very clear.
In his talks with big companies, especially mining companies, Marcos said buyers of mineral products insist upon declaration of proof that the products that they are being sold were built using green energy.
“And that I think is going to be an important part in making hopefully the manufacturing of batteries in the Philippines a success,” he noted.
Catherine R. Cueto