DepEd gets P18-M solar power for off-grid island schools in Bohol

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 25 (PIA) -- Department of Education (DepEd) Central Visayas Regional Director Atty. Salustiano Jimenez together with Bohol DepEd Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Bianito Dagatan led local school officials in receiving the P18,441,227 worth of photo voltaic off-grid power systems and their accessories including the installation costs for the power system to energize six island schools in Talibon and Bien Unido, Bohol on May 21, 2021.

In the deed of donation, Vivant, through its corporate social responsibility arm Vivant Foundation, donated off-grid solar power systems of different capacity levels to six of Bohol islands that are not connected to the mainland power through its project called Renewable Energy for Livelihood and Youth (RELY).

GETTING SELF-SUFFICIENT. Women in off-grid island barangays in Bohol come together to train for livelihood enterprises, including this catering service offered by the Malingin Island Womens Association. The Malingin Elementary School is one recipient of Vivant’s RELY project with livelihood support by PROCESS Bohol. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

Funded by the European Union to the Philippines and SEQUA gGmbH German Cooperation, RELY aims to promote renewable energy as a means to improve learning as well as foster climate change mitigations in underserved communities in Centrals Visayas as well as in Palawan by energizing off-grid schools.

RELY’s approach combines solar electrification with community development and improved vocational education by collaborating with partner senior high schools.

The schools will serve as training hubs for the mainstreaming of solar power electrical installation and maintenance.

RELY is also partnering with PROCESS Bohol to undertake livelihood and youth programs and development component, said Vivant Foundation Executive Director Shem Jose Garcia.

The EU support comes under the Access to Sustainable Energy Program (ASEP), a joint undertaking of the Department of Energy and the European Union, whose goal is to assist the Philippine government in expanding sustainable energy generation to meet growing economic needs and provide energy access to the poor and marginalized sectors, according to the project concept.

Delayed by the pandemic, the project which started in January 2019 is set to end in 2021.

Hingotanan East National High School principal Joemilyn Cabanero said that in 2004, all they had at the school were six-horsepower, three-kilovolt power generators.

In 2005, after the Department of Trade and Industry gave them 10 computer units, they were forced to purchase another set of generators especially when the computer subjects were introduced.

By then, the teachers would have to prioritize and dedicate all available power to the classes, while they would have to delay the printing of reports to allocate the power required for the computers.

The need for more generators came the school started implementing the Senior High School curriculum and with technical vocational and livelihood strand, they had Small Metal Arc Welding, cookery, and tailoring.

In 2019, Vivant conducted school visitation, data gathering, and consultations. 

By November 2020, the technicians finished the installation of the off-grid solar power systems, making the school a pilot area in clean and green energy.

Because of the solar project, the school saved P10,000 in costs of diesel.

Now, the amount is used to purchase additional learning materials and tools upgrading for the school teaching aids and upgrading the program. (rahc/PIA Bohol)



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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