Image file by Geoffrey Delahaye


The city government of Puerto Princesa is seeking the approval of a P1.4 billion loan to expand its urban street lighting project by 2021.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on October 9 released to the public the local government units (LGUs) that are seeking the approval of the monetary board (MB) to take out large loans to fund local projects.

Of the total 93 requests for MB opinions received by the BSP in the first semester of 2020, Puerto Princesa City was among the LGUs that has the highest proposed domestic borrowing for a local government project amounting to P1.4 billion. This accumulated to about 5.58 percent of the total P25.1 billion country’s semestral report on LGUs seeking the clearance of the Monetary Board (MB) for new loans.

“For the first semester of 2020, the BSP received 93 requests for MB opinion from LGUs on their proposed loans amounting to P25.1 billion. The number of LGU requests for MB opinion was higher by 31 percent from 71 requests received in [second semester of] 2019,” the statement said.

The P1.4 billion loan request was for the procurement and installation of urban street lighting facilities, according to the MB Resolution No. 473 dated April 1, 2020.

The City’s sole street light project, which it describes as “intelligent lighting investment”, is only a few million short of its overall budget for urban development at P840 million for 2020.

On September 1, the city government inaugurated its smart street-lighting technology project in 10 barangays, including Irawan, Sicsican, Sta. Monica, Tiniguiban, Tagburos, San Manuel, San Jose, San Pedro, San Miguel, and Milagrosa, where some 1,495 streetlights were simultaneously lit up.

City Planning Officer (CPO) Engr. Jovenee Sagun, in an earlier statement from the City Information Office (CIO), said that the Smart Street-Lighting Technology (SSTL) helps in mitigating climate change, reducing up to 60 percent of power consumption.

“Ang mga dating pailaw ay 120 watts, 60 watts sa smart city ngunit mas maliwanag ang ilaw nito dahil sa mataas na lumina kaya mas maliwanag kahit mababa ang wattage,” the earlier statement said.

The city government also claimed that it is one of only 58 countries that use such technology.

“58 lamang na bansa sa buong mundo kabilang ang Pilipinas sa mga gumagamit ng smart city LED lighting system at nangunguna ang Puerto Princesa sa mga lungsod na mayroon nito,” the statement added.

Ever since the Bayron administration started in 2013, around 4,224 street lights were installed, seeking to expand to around 10,000 more.