UN hails Iloilo as ‘champion for mainstreaming RE’

By Alex P. Vidal

“The future is green energy, sustainability, renewable energy.” —Arnold Schwarzenegger

AS Ilonggos, we are proud that the province of Iloilo was recently cited by no less than the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for distinguishing itself as “among champions for mainstreaming renewable energy.”

UNDP Resident Representative Selva Ramachandran, in a letter dated December 6, 2022, thanked and congratulated Governor Arthur “Toto” Defensor Jr. “on its protective efforts to champion RE (renewable energy).”

Ramachandran said, “UNDP will share the story of Iloilo to its global offices and partners and shall continue to find pathways to support the province’s RE goals.”

The UNDP representative stressed that Iloilo Provincial Government (IPG), through the Development for Renewal Energy Applications Mainstreaming and Market Sustainability (DREAMS) project, has partnered with the Department of Energy (DOE), UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (DEF) to realize a 75kW Iloilo Provincial Hospital Rooftop Solar PV Project.

Ramachandran explained that “the project aims to provide stable and clean energy to the hospital serving over 409,000 households and housing the molecular lab that has been at the province’s frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“In January 2022,” added Ramachandran, “the IPG completed the Iloilo Provincial RE Plan (IPREP), laying down programs and activities to institutionalize and deploy RE in the province.”


“Come August 2022, in line with the IPREP, the IPG legislated and invested on its commitment through the passage of the Iloilo Provincial Ordinance for RE (I-PORE), which prescribes the allocation of fiscal resources from its annual provincial budget,” she added. “This is the first in the Philippines and should serve as an excellent example for other LGUs.”

Board Member Roland Biaca Distura, author and sponsor of I-PORE, confirmed that the ordinance was the first in the country saying no less than Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla has expressed gratitude in a message dated December 9, 2022.

“The Province of Iloilo leaps towards renewable energy (RE) at a time when the Philippines institutionalized the National RE Plan 2020-2040, a roadmap paving the way for a 35% national RE generation mix by 2030 and 50% by 2040,” Lotilla pointed out.

“Both Iloilo and NREP 2020-2024 rise to the challenge of mainstreaming RE in accordance with the RE Act of 2008 and the Philippine Energy Plan 2020-2040.”

Lotilla added: “The Iloilo Provincial Renewable Energy Plan (IPREP) is Iloilo’s pathway in its leap to RE development. IPREP has identified the Province’s RE potential, readiness, key strategies. and action plans. These include three pre-feasibility studies for RE projects that demonstrate what RE can generate for Iloilo’s communities, local governments, and investors. These studies feature rooftop solar PV systems for 12 district hospitals needing reliable energy for improved healthcare, solar power for the electrification of the diesel generator-reliant tourism and scallops haven of Gigantes, and solar-powered Level 3 water supply in Ajuy’s island communities for water sufficiency.

“The PREP rallies energy stakeholders – electric cooperatives, provincial and municipal local governments, private investors, academe, and even other livelihood sectors and individuals. They provided unique contributions to making RE a reality. My gratitude to everyone for taking part in this endeavor.”


Will ‘god’ protect Pastor Apollo Quiboloy?

It depends on which god—granting somebody up above or somewhere else is really willing to buy his melodrama hook, line, and sinker.

It seems that the world of this controversial spiritual leader, who has been accused of raping young girls and exploiting them in his Kingdom for Jesus Christ church, is getting smaller everyday.

Now that the United States government has imposed financial sanctions against Quiboloy amid allegations of human rights abuse, observers are saying it’s only a matter of time before he will finally be arrested.

He has been listed in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as among the most wanted.

The US State Department and the Department of the Treasury announced the sanctions in separate statements posted on their respective official websites on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day and on the eve of International Human Rights Day.

Some of the more than six million members of his church believe he is innocent and was only a victim of a “frame-up.” Most of those who know him and his alleged victims, however, believe otherwise.

He is not actually being singled out contrary to the claims of his loyalists and fanatics. Aside from Quiboloy, the US State Department and the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) also sanctioned 39 other individuals and entities that are connected to corruption or human rights abuse across nine countries.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)