Iloilo City

Iloilo City offers incentives to households shifting to solar power

John Sitchon

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Iloilo City offers incentives to households shifting to solar power

file photo. K2022ra

K2022ra/wikimedia commons

Iloilo City residents can avail of a 20% discount yearly in their basic real property tax for as long as their home electric consumption goes down because of renewable energy sources

CEBU, Philippines – As part of efforts to alleviate a persistent spate of power outages across the region, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said Monday, March 11, they will offer incentives to residents who augment their electricity needs by installing solar panels in their homes.

In a press conference Monday, the mayor said in a mix of English and Hiligaynon: “Residential houses that are solar-powered, equivalent to (twenty) percent of their monthly consumption, as certified by MORE (Power), can get an additional discount of twenty percent off their (real property tax). ”

Treñas emphasized that only households, and not commercial buildings, can avail of the tax incentives. According to the mayor, commercial establishments need to use renewable energy sources more than residential units due to their large energy consumption.

The city government program is actually just implementing an ordinance passed over a decade ago.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod passed Iloilo City Regulation Ordinance No. 2009-358 in November 2009.

Titled “An Ordinance Encouraging All Household Entities to Utilize Natural Energy from Renewable Resources,” it provided tax incentives to households which will switch to using “equipment that harnesses biomass, geothermal, hydropower sources, or utilize solar, wind, ocean, or hybrid energy systems.”

However, because of the absence of implementing rules and regulations (IRR), the city council suspended the implementation of the ordinance and the tax incentives in February 2023.

NGCP not culprit in Panay, Negros Occidental blackout – Bacolod chamber 

NGCP not culprit in Panay, Negros Occidental blackout – Bacolod chamber 

On May 19, 2023, Treñas signed Executive Order No. 63, which finally approved the ordinance’s IRR and enabled its implementation.

Iloilo has long been installing solar panels in public buildings and schools. More residents are also applying to get tax incentives.

Since January, parts of Western Visayas has experienced a series of power outages which Treñas said has affected the livelihood and welfare of residents in the region. The the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), in a statement, said that the most recent blackout on March 1 was caused by a tripping of Panay’s major power plants.

Of national urgency

On Thursday, March 7, local officials and representatives from power companies in the Panay and Guimaras islands met with the Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission, and NGCP to address concerns over the recent power outages in Western Visayas.

During the meeting, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. told leaders and stakeholders that the issue was “a matter of national urgency.” 

“We are very concerned because electric power is really one of the fundamentals that government should deliver to our constituents,” the governor said.

Treñas shared on Monday morning that the NGCP has promised to finish upgrades to the Cebu-Negros-Panay grid before the end of March. 

“MORE (Power) and (Global Business Power) are in talks for a diesel power plant and they’re asking for exemptions from the DOE and ERC because usually the requirement is competitive bidding…We talked to have it in the island,” Treñas said.

The city mayor hopes that the plant would help provide ample supply to support areas in Iloilo whenever there are power outages. –

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