Over a hundred participants from local government units (LGUS), regional line agencies (RLAs), private sector and other stakeholders gathered in the first-of-its-kind renewable energy summit entitled “RDC VI for RE 2022 & Beyond: Empowering LGUs to Harness Renewable Energy Resources and Solutions for Recovery and Growth” on April 7-8, 2022.  The summit was held in a hybrid set-up at the Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo, Mandurriao, Iloilo City with virtual participants joining via Zoom and Facebook livestreaming.

The Regional Development Council (RDC) VI initiated the conduct of the summit in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE), Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Development Programme-Development for Renewable Energy Applications Mainstreaming and Market Sustainability (UNDP-DREAMS) Project, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and Green Forum Western Visayas.

In her welcome remarks, RDC VI Co-Chairperson and IDC VI Chairperson Ma. Luisa C. Segovia emphasized the need for Western Visayas to be self-sufficient in power by optimizing its indigenous resources. “Success in the investments for the region will hinge on our ability to provide stable, ample energy sooner or later,” she added.

RDC VI Vice-Chairperson and NEDA VI Regional Director Meylene C. Rosales encouraged the participants to advocate for the use of renewable energy. We need energy to push our agenda for smart infrastructure, innovation, regional equity, disaster resilience, climate change adaptation, and sustainable development. I call on all of public servants and our development partners to work together to push for RE in  2022 and beyond,” RD Rosales said.

The DOE-Visayas Field Office (VFO) presented the energy situation in Western Visayas and the relevant policies on renewable energy.  DOE Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella expressed, via Zoom teleconference, that we could efficiently get the most out of RE when we use the right technology with the right understanding and implementation.

DILG VI Regional Director Juan Jovian E. Ingeniero presented the LGU Energy Code and the implications of the Mandanas ruling to the responsibilities and authority of the local government in power generation. “We have to harmonize and fast-track the implementation of pertinent laws to further maximize energy projects of LGUs and to spur total development at the local level,” he concluded.

UNDP Philippines Deputy Resident Representative Edwine Carrie affirmed the support of his organization on energy transition for sustainable development. “Renewable Energy is not only an environment and economic issue. It is a gender issue,” he declared.

After the planning workshop for LGUs, RDC VI Secretary and NEDA VI Assistant Regional Director Arecio A. Casing, Jr. challenged the LGUs in his closing message to explore various partnerships and financial options and seize every opportunity to bounce back better towards green recovery.

The RDC VI, DOE VFO, UNDP-DREAMS and Green Forum discussed the issues and concerns raised and identified the next steps and strategies to further advance the use of RE in the region during the post-event assessment and meeting.

The RE summit is the realization of the RDC VI Resolution No. 28, Series of 2022, requesting a webinar on powering LGUs to develop and utilize RE for recovery and growth. (EAMPareja/NEDA VI)