The Regional Development Council (RDC) VI second quarter full council meeting was held at the Courtyard by Marriott, Iloilo Business Park, Iloilo City on June 28, 2023.  The morning session was dedicated to the Council’s meeting, followed by an Investment Forum on Renewable Energy (RE) in the afternoon.  The Forum was jointly organized by the RDC VI, NEDA VI, United Nations Development Programme – Development for Renewable Energy Applications Mainstreaming and Market Sustainability (UNDP-DREAMS) and the Province of Iloilo, in collaboration with the Department of Energy (DOE).

The Forum highlighted the special chapter on champion energy transition of the Western Visayas Regional Development Plan (WV RDP) 2023-2028 and its alignment with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 and National Renewable Energy Plan 2020-2040 at the national level, down to Iloilo’s I-PORE (Iloilo Provincial Ordinance of Renewable Energy of 2022), with Iloilo’s various RE projects.

This served as an occasion to showcase the WV RDP 2023-2028 to key players in energy transition that includes development partners, renewable energy investors, contractors and other stakeholders, with the aim to collaborate to realize the national government’s goal of transitioning to a clean energy future while making electricity costs affordable to all.  Development partners from the Chinese Embassy, German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the non-profit organization RELP (formerly Greenmap), Allotrope Partners, and Northern Iloilo State University participated in the forum as presenters and reactors.  The Forum gathered about 125 attendees, including RDC VI officers and members.

Secretary Raphael P. M. Lotilla of DOE, who joined via Zoom, applauded the region’s effort to include energy transition in its currrent development plan.  In his welcome message delivered by Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara,  he stated that “a dedicated chapter on championing energy transition in the Western Visayas Regional Development Plan 2023-2028 is inspiring.  This topic is truly about the future of energy.”

Dr. Selva Ramanchandran, Resident Representative of UNDP, emphasized the importance of harnessing partnerships in the energy sector:  “I strongly believe in working collaboratively, we can achieve our dream of energy access and security through renewable energy. Let us continue to forge partnerships, exchange knowledge, explore innovative solutions to welcome challenges to accelerate the progress in the renewable energy sector.”

A press conference was conducted prior to the Forum with the panel consisting of RDC VI Mayor Alfredo Abelardo B. Benitez, RDC VI Vice Chairperson Arecio A. Casing, Jr., DOE Undersecretary Guevara, UNDP Dr. Ramachandran, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr., Engr. Gaspar G. Escobar, Jr., UNDP Climate Action Program Team Leader Floradema Eleazar. (RADemonteverde/DRD)