By Liza Soriano
MANILA — Sen. Risa Hontiveros has reiterated her demand that solar energy systems be installed in public facilities, including covered courts in barangays and social housing units.
The declaration comes as she keeps pleading with the government to accelerate the nation’s switch to renewable energy.
“The housing backlog is more than 6 million. Imagine if the current and new housing units are to be built with a solar power system. Imagine our barangay-covered courts powered by renewable energy. This is the kind of paradigm shift we need in the energy sector,” she said.
Hontiveros proposed Senate Bill No. 378 in which the beneficiaries of the government’s social housing program can avail of financing for their solar home systems as part of their housing loans, which will be payable in up to 25-30 years.
“Sa ngayon kasi ang may kapasidad lamang na magkaroon ng solar panels sa kanilang bubungan ay ang mga may kaya. Naiiwan ang mahihirap, gayong sila ang kulang sa pambayad at pagkukunan ng kuryente, lalo na sa mga relocation areas na pinagdadalhan sa kanila,” the senator said.
Hontiveros has been consistently urging the national and local governments as well as electric cooperatives to fund the development of renewables as a strategic solution to lingering power woes.
“Nagagawa na nila ito sa Romblon, walang dahilan para hindi ito magawa ng lahat. Ang kailangan lang ay magtulungan at magkasundo sa parehong layunin ang ibat-ibang sangay ng pamahalaan, private sector, at higit sa lahat ang ating mga komunidad para na rin sa ikalulutas ng ating mga problema sa enerhiya,” Hontiveros said. (ai/mtvn)