Negros Oriental is the first province in the Philippines to institutionalize unequivocal support and commitment to renewable energy sources through an annual commemorative local government event.
Governor Roel Ragay Degamo recently signed Executive Order No. 22-18 declaring Renewable Energy Day in Negros Oriental every 5th of March. This follows a similarly groundbreaking executive order signed last March 2018 declaring Negros Oriental as an environment-friendly and clean energy province.
Negros Oriental is host to several renewable energy power plants that generate clean, reliable power through geothermal, solar, hydro and wind sources, contributing substantially to the electricity needs of the Visayas region.
“Consistent with these directives and ideals, the Province of Negros Oriental shall prioritize the utilization of clean, renewable energy, which is abundant in the province; to continuously protect and develop such renewable energy sources and, at the same time, shun operations and activities including sourcing and use of energy sources that are destructive to the environment and harmful to its citizens’ health and livelihood,” the declaration stated.
“Such detrimental operations and activities are primarily caused by the operation of power plants run by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal,” it cited.
The observance of the first Renewable Energy Day in 2019 is seen as a culmination of a week-long celebration in the province focused on increasing awareness and information about renewable energy sources, engaging the public especially the youth in pro-environment initiatives and causes, and showcasing the positive effects and benefits of “greener” and reliable energy.
“Making my province, Negros Oriental, as an environment-friendly and clean-energy province is one of the toughest decisions I have made as Governor,” Degamo previously stated in a message at the 2018 State of Nature Assessment (SONA) organized by non-profit environmental group Green Convergence in partnership with the Forest Foundation of the Philippines and Energy Development Corporation (EDC) held in Baguio City.
“I want to share our experience so that it can serve not just as an example but an inspiration on how we can achieve a cleaner energy future not just for individual communities but for the entire country,” he stated. (BGM)