THE Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC) is eyeing a greater focus on renewable energy in the region to more effectively harness its natural resources.
“The Department of Energy says the Cordillera has the potential to supply 3,600 megawatts of electricity from hydroelectric sources, but only five percent is being generated,” Apayao Gov. Elias Bulut Jr. said.
Bulut said that attention to renewable energy would bring direct foreign investments into the region, which receives a smaller budget than other regions due to its small population.
Between 2008 and 2018, only 193.63 million cubic meters of surface river water were utilized for electric generation in the Cordillera, lower than the 1.743 million cubic meters used for irrigation, according to the region’s latest physical flow accounts for water resources, which the Philippine Statistics Authority released in November.
Bulut urged constituent local governments to craft ordinances to speed up the creation of more renewable energy projects, which are entitled to incentives.
He also said that the process of securing the free, prior and informed consent of communities that live in areas suited for hydropower should be eased.
“Once renewable energy businesses are set up, employment opportunities arise, and economic activities will be revitalized,” he said.