President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday made a fresh call for the next administration to consider the use of nuclear energy in the country again.

Duterte made the proposal in his latest “Talk to the People” address as he claimed the Philippines could benefit from nuclear power as oil, of which prices have been skyrocketing due to the Russia-Ukraine war, “will dry up [someday].”

“It would be good for any government to prepare the possibility of making the transition earlier from oil ‘yung fossil fuel to nuclear kasi ang nuclear is forever,” he said.

Duterte also expressed optimism that the presumptive president, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., would explore the use of nuclear energy as his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., was behind the shut-down Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

“I hope that the next administration would at least explore now the possibility of itong nuclear…Tutal ang nag-umpisa naman nito si Marcos noon,” he said.

The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, which cost more than $2 million, was the country’s only nuclear power plant.

Completed under the Marcos regime, it was never fueled nor used due to safety concerns. After Marcos was overthrown and in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster, the succeeding administration of President Corazon Aquino mothballed the Bataan plant. John Ezekiel J. Hirro