Electric coop to distribute CFLs in NoCot

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/12 Aug) – Some 83,000 energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) will be distributed by the Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) to its electricity consumers within three months’ time starting this week in most parts of North Cotabato.

The program, which involves the swapping of incandescent bulbs with the CFLs, is a project of the Department of Energy (DoE) under its National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program with support from the United Nations Development Program-Global Environment Facility-Philippine Efficient Lighting Market Transformation Project.

In North Cotabato, the project is being implemented by Cotelco.

Cotelco board president Rodolfo Cabiles Jr. said the project is the cooperative’s “modest contribution” to the global campaign against climate change.

Cresmasita Golosino, head of Cotelco’s promotions and membership section, described the “Palit-Ilaw Project” as “hitting two birds with one stone.”

“The use of incandescent bulbs contributes to increase in carbon emissions, thus resulting to global warming. But at the same time, the use of IBs would lessen power consumption,” Golosino explained during the project’s launching last Wednesday at the AJ Hi-Time Hotel here.

She said there are still 40 million incandescent bulbs in the country. Power consumers, she noted, buy the incandescent bulbs because these are cheaper

A 25-watt incandescent bulb, for example, is being sold in the market at P15 each as compared to a CFL which costs over P100, depending on the brand.

“But continued use of incandescent bulbs results to increase in monthly power bill,” said Golosino.

A 50-watt incandescent bulb used for 12 hours in a day will cost the power consumer P156.28 in a month. But a 15-watt CFL, which has about the same brightness level as the 50-watt incandescent bulb, will cost the consumer only P46.89 over the same period.

“That means a power consumer can save from using a CFL some P109 per month,” said Felix Canja, spokesman for the Cotelco who also serves as the executive assistant to the general manager.

According to a study made by the Philippine Lighting Industry Association, an incandescent bulb could last 1,000 hours per unit. But a good quality CFL can last 6,000 hours per unit.

Canja said that starting this year, there will no more manufacturing and sale of incandescent bulbs in the country.

The Palit-Ilaw project of Cotelco will cover service areas in North Cotabato under its original franchise, which include the towns of Banisilan, Carmen, Kabacan, Matalam, President Roxas, Antipas, Arakan, Magpet, Kidapawan City, Makilala, M’lang, and Tulunan.

Golosino said that each household can present a maximum of three incandescent bulbs.

But before a replacement is made, the power consumer must present to any Cotelco sub-offices anywhere in North Cotabato official receipt of his or her July bill.

“This is to make sure that every household or power consumer is given a chance to avail of the project. The project only applies to residential power consumers,” Golosino noted.

Power consumers who are members of a Barangay Power Association (BAPA) can have their incandescent bulbs replaced in their villages with the help of the board of directors of the Cotelco. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)