Power industry leaders join hands to bring sustainable electricity, learning technology to far-flung communities.
MACTAN, CEBU ╼ Members of the Association of the Electricity Supply Industry of East Asia and Western Pacific (AESIEAP) expressed their commitment to foster inclusive and sustainable progress in off-grid communities in the Philippines by bringing electricity and learning technology to their schools.
During the association’s annual CEO conference held on Monday at the Mactan Shangri-La Resort in Cebu, some of the biggest players in the energy industry in Asia and the Pacific raised 44,000 USD to energize eleven schools located in remote island and mountain villages in the country through solar photovoltaic technology.
The initiative was part of the school electrification program of One Meralco Foundation (OMF), the advocacy partner for the conference and the social development arm of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the Philippines’ largest private sector electricity distributor.
OMF launched its school electrification program in 2012 to help address the need for electricity access in more than 5,000 public schools throughout the country. These are mostly located in far-flung villages that are challenging to connect to the grid.
Without power, teachers are stuck with traditional pedagogy, while students lack first-hand experience with technology, unable to develop the skills necessary to prepare them for the 21st Century workplace.
Starting with six pilot schools on Verde Island, Batangas, the program has since expanded far and beyond Meralco’s electric distribution area. By the end of 2018, it has installed up to 2-kilowatt peak solar PV systems in 225 schools nationwide, benefiting some 80,000 students and teachers.
To energize more schools, OMF offered AESIEAP members the opportunity to take part in its mission through the CEO conference.
Eleven companies supported the advocacy namely, CLP Hong Kong Limited, Companhia de Electricidade de Macau, Manila Electric Company, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR), SA Power Networks, SP Group, Taiwan Power Company, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), The Hongkong Electric Company, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), and Nokia Solutions and Networks.
To recognize the contributions of the advocacy partners, a lighting ceremony was held at the close of the conference. It was attended by representatives of the beneficiary schools namely, Datal Basak Indigenous Peoples’ School, Maasim, Sarangani; Himokilan Elementary School, Hindang, Leyte; Dawahon Integrated School, Bato, Leyte; Marcelino E. Eligan-Banlas Elementary School, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental; Ludin Logan Indigenous Peoples’ School, Maasim, Sarangani; Danao Elementary School, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental; Caniogan Valley Elementary School, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental; Tiktihan Elementary School, Rizal, Occidental Mindoro; Apid Elementary School, Inopacan, Leyte; Tubod Elementary School, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental; and Mungos Mangyan Elementary School, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro.
The electrification of these schools began in the middle of September and will be completed by the end of October this year.
One Meralco Foundation remains committed to helping ensure that no Filipino child is left in the dark. It also keeps its doors open to those who might want to share the mission of “spreading the light” to communities that need it the most.
To learn more about OMF’s school electrification program and its other advocacies, visit www.onemeralcofoundation.org.