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HomeRegional NewsIloilo is pilot city for USAID Energy Secure Philippines Initiative

Iloilo is pilot city for USAID Energy Secure Philippines Initiative

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Iloilo City in Panay island was chosen by the United States Agency for International Development as the pilot area for its Energy Secure Philippines Initiative that would lead to the regional center having its own Local Energy Plan.

The international aid agency has allotted US$50,000 for the program that will provide technical and financial support to Iloilo City “to ensure the sufficiency of electricity supply in Iloilo City for incoming investors,” a news release from MORE Power said.

MORE Power, the current distribution utility in the capital city of Western Visayas, is part of the USAID pilot study along with the Iloilo City Government and the USAID to come up with a Local Energy Plan.

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The rest of the news release said:

The USAID coordinated with the RT International Research Institute, which will provide the technical know-how and support in developing a modern facility to its pilot distribution utility which is MORE Power.

At present, no office monitors the Energy Consumption and Energy Conservation in Iloilo City, which is supposedly the main objective of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act or RA 11285.

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The law mandates the Local Government Units for its implementation.

According to Engr. Noel Hechanova, Executive Assistant for Environment of Iloilo City, they started creating the plan in 2004 however, this was never completed.

The city initially started its renewable energy and energy conservation initiatives like giving discounts on real property taxes to encourage businessmen and consumers but very few availed of it.

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The USAID will guide the LGU and various stakeholders through a series of workshops in crafting long-term energy conservation plans, creating an Energy Efficiency Conservation Office, Local Energy Plan, Ordinance for the Local Energy Code, and EVOSS or Energy Virtual One Stop Shop, which will provide the energy-based online situation of business and investment promotions of the City Government.

“In the first place, ang partnership naton with MORE is important to reduce yung rate. We cooperate, we bring down the cost, we bring down the system loss. If we reduce that through energy efficiency nga mga programs, then it would benefit the city kag mga constituents namon kag mga konsumidor. Then we have to cooperate on energy efficiency and advocacy bangud kinahanglan namon ang other partners to help us promote this agud ma reduce ang greenhouse gases emission naton,” says Engr. Hechanova.

According to Engr. Niel Ravena, Acting Department Head of Iloilo City Environment and Natural Resources, it is important to have data on the supply of power in Iloilo City to cater to the needs of incoming investors.

“It is very hard for the city kung kulang imo nga supply, with the promotion sang atun very aggressive nga mayor sa atun nga investors, dapat ready ang energy source ta kag ang distribution utility para mag accommodate sa masulod nga investors,” says Engr. Ravena.

“Very vital gid ang papel sang MORE in this endeavor kay ti sila ang distribution utility company nga naga serve diri sa City of Iloilo. So mayu gid kay naka start na kita sang partnership with MORE and USAID para maka jump off na ini nga mga projects”, Ravena added.

MORE Power ensured its cooperation in providing the necessary information to the city on its load capacities and forecasting of demands.

The company will also take a huge role in the technical working group of the city government to hasten the crafting of the Local Energy Plan.

The group targets its completion in five years.

This will then serve as the guide for investors who wish to expand their business in Iloilo City and for further plans for the city government in terms of development.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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