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RE is the future of Mindanao: MinDA

THE MINDANAO Development Authority (MinDA) is setting its sights on renewable energy as part of its economic strategies this 2024, an official said.

During the Habi at Kape forum last Jan. 24, MinDA Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro said their “overwhelming strategy” is to ensure the sustainability of agricultural communities by integrating renewable energy into the entire process.

“If these are supported with renewable energy technology, just as what we have demonstrated in seven communities in Sultan Kudarat, Lanao Dul Sur, and South and North Cotabato, it gives us a much higher level of confidence that eventually, we would be able to sell products from Mindanao that are easily available to the public,” Montenegro said.

He added that last year, communities, and rice, corn, and coffee farmer’s cooperatives were assisted with solar-powered post-harvest facilities through the Integration of Productive Use of Renewable Energy (I-PURE) Project.

As reported by MinDA last Nov. 10, 2023, Some of the I-PURE Projects implemented in Sultan Kudarat are a solar-powered corn processing facility in Bagumbayan, a solar-powered Level II Water Facility in Senator Ninoy Aquino and Lebak, and a solar-powered Coffee Processing Facility in Kalamansig.

Montenegro also mentioned that specializing in zero-carbon packages can help local products penetrate bigger market destinations such as Europe and other countries that put extra dollars and extra euros for commodities and products that are not involved or products that were produced without fossil in the entire process.

Last December 2023, the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) incentive by the European Union (EU) was extended to December 31, 2027. With this, Mindanao continues to enjoy zero tariffs for its exports to the European market.

Montenegro also mentioned that in recent years, many investors in the energy sector have been investing in Mindanao and many industries such as malls and mega-warehouses are also encouraged to utilize renewable energy in their buildings.

“We’d like to see many of these communities in Mindanao being transformed as well. Very much different from what they were 30 years, 20 years ago to what they are today and what they can become 10-20 years from now,” Montenegro said, “and validate Mindanao as the country’s food basket and a major exporter of the country’s champion export commodities.”


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