The Philippines government is considering rechannelling the $100 million budget allotted to its nuclear energy development programme in the light of the Fukushima disaster.

“Since the budget has been approved, the Department of Energy is currently studying what to do next. Whether we push through or delay or use the budget for more urgent matters. We are in discussion internally,” Energy undersecretary Jay Layug has been quoted as saying.

He noted that “the DoE has no programme for nuclear other than to study it. … we are thinking of … [dong] … other studies apart from nuclear.” At the moment, he said, the DoE would be focusing on renewable energy development. “Renewable energy is the priority right now and not nuclear, we’re looking at additional capacities through coal and natural gas plants,” he said.

Some civic groups had called on the government to rethink its decision to push for a nuclear energy program.

Earlier, the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) had urged the government to totally drop nuclear plans after the tragedy of the tsunami and subsequent events.