Negros Oriental offering incentives for RE investors

negor capitol edited

The provincial government of Negros Oriental is set to reward renewable energy (RE) investors with incentives under the country’s first RE ordinance. 

Dubbed as the RE Code, the ordinance is focused on providing benefits like carbon credits and a one-year tax holiday for up and coming RE investors in the province. 

Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo said that the RE code would boost the morale of their environmental warriors in the field.  He added that it would also drive more efforts for a clean and sustainable world. 

The RE Code, which was proposed by the private sector, was unanimously passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on December 23, 2021 and was signed by Degamo on January 11.

According to the provincial government, the RE Code encourages qualified companies to avail the government’s Green Energy Option Program (GEOP), which allows consumers with monthly consumption of at least 100 kilowatts to source RE directly from licensed GEOP providers. The Department of Energy (DOE) has accredited 15 retail electricity suppliers (RESs) for the program.

Bacolod-based RE firm Almana Power Corporation is the first company to apply and avail of the tax incentives under the province’s RE code. 

Meanwhile, Energy Development Corporation (EDC) welcomed the move. EDC owns the province’s two geothermal plants – the Nasulo and Palinpinon facilities – both in the town of Valencia. The Lopez-led firm also has three RESs under the GEOP.

Negros Oriental had banned the construction of new coal-fired power plants in the province in March 2018, more than two years before the DOE released its nationwide coal plant moratorium.

The province was one of those where Typhoon Odette made landfall in December 2021. As of Thursday, power has been restored to 42.31% of households served by the Negros Oriental I Electric Cooperative, which serves the northern part of the province and to 97.95% of those under the Negros Oriental II Electric Cooperative, which serves the southern part. Odette caused at least Php505 million in damages to power distribution facilities in the province, based on DOE data.

The province is also one of the poorest in the country with a poverty incidence of 28% as of last year, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.