Iloilo City advocates solar power use for energy solution

Iloilo City Hall embraces sustainability with the installation of 134 solar panels that are expected to generate 60 kilowatts daily, meeting a third of the City Hall’s power needs. (Photo Courtesy of M. De La Cruz/file)

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas discussed promoting an existing ordinance offering discounts for solar-powered residential structures as a way to address ongoing energy issues.

City Regulation Ordinance No. 2009-358 could encourage or motivate households to adopt solar power, benefiting both consumers and the environment.

Treñas did consider suspending the ordinance last year due to the absence of Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

Under the IRR, residents must draw at least 10 percent of their electricity from personal solar systems, as certified by MORE Power, the city’s electricity provider.

“The ordinance, as it states, would only require at least one solar panel in the home to allow for the incentive. So, what we put in the IRR was that 10 percent consumption was needed [for the incentive],” Treñas clarified.

However, the mayor doesn’t foresee an amendment to the ordinance for commercial entities anytime soon, indicating no necessity for such change.

The ordinance allows a 20 percent Real Property Tax discount for residential structures with solar power facilities. Additionally, MORE Power supports renewable energy use through its net-metering program.

Regarding energy solutions, Treñas backs MORE Power’s plans to lease Global Business Power’s Panay Power Corporation diesel plant to provide ancillary services to Panay Island.

The two companies have been in active discussions to revive the power plant to boost power supply in Panay.

“We’re hoping that the agreements [between] MORE [Power and GBP] will be consummated at the earliest possible time,” the mayor stated.


On water issues, Treñas revealed plans to boost water supply by an extra 10 million liters daily through Metro Pacific Iloilo Water (MPIW), which serves Iloilo City and nearby towns.

This development follows his and Governor Arthur Defensor Jr.’s attendance at a meeting with MPIW and FLO Water, a key bulk water supplier for the utility.

FLO Water, currently supplying around 20 MLD to MPIW, will initiate leasing PrimeWater’s pipelines, owned by the Villar group, to enhance the water supply.

“[MPIW] will start already cleaning up, getting all the needed machines, so that we will start getting water from the lines of PrimeWater as soon as these details are completed,” he said.

Moreover, MPIW has pledged to boost the water allocation for the existing cistern in La Paz Plaza, vital for watering public green spaces and parks throughout the city.

This assurance comes amidst rising temperatures in the city, with a looming possibility of drought conditions forecasted between April and June.

Concurrently, city health officials and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management team are inspecting deep wells to monitor water levels.

The mayor emphasized the importance of these data, which will be crucial for determining if the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council should declare a State of Calamity.