GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/12 July) – Around 2,500 households in remote upland villages in Sarangani province are set to benefit from a P300 million solar power electrification project supported by the European Union (EU).
Jelyn Apura, acting head of the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO), said preparations are underway for the implementation of the project in off-grid communities or areas that could not be reached by power lines under the Mindanao grid.
She said they are currently processing the required documents and assessing the areas that will be included in the electrification project, in coordination with the provincial federation of the Association of Barangay Councils.
The province had been chosen by EU as one of the two provinces in Region 12 or that will be covered by the initiative, which is dubbed Strengthening Off-grid Lighting with Appropriate Renewable Energy Solutions or Solares.
It will also benefit some 2,500 households in Sultan Kudarat province.
Apura said the project’s implementation will be spearheaded by Mahintana Foundation and the Peace and Equity Foundation, in partnership with the Dole Philippines Inc. and the South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative.
The provincial government, led by Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon, has committed to provide the necessary for its rollout, she said.
Under the project, the official said the household-beneficiaries will each receive a solar home system unit.
Each unit is composed of a solar panel with a peak capacity of 50 watts, battery and system box that can power a transistor radio, television unit, five light-emitting diode or LED lights and charge a cellphone, she said.
“The project implementers will also provide beneficiaries with livelihood projects,” she said in a statement.
Once installed, Apura said the solar home systems will mainly benefit schoolchildren and students in the upland communities.
“It will greatly improve the lives of our residents in the far-flung areas, especially our indigenous peoples,” she added. (MindaNews)