About 1.3 million of the households in Mindanao, Philippines do not have access to electricity. In Region XII and ARMM, about 26% of sitios/puroks and 43% of households do not have light in their homes (National Electrification Administration, 2016).
Low connection due to the costly set-up of distribution lines stem from the geographic layout of these areas: remote sitios, and dispersed location of off-grid households. Another concern is the communities’ lack of financial capacity to pay for energy due to the limited income opportunities in off-grid rural areas. Most off-grid households use kerosene as their primary light source. A family of 6 consumes around 5 to 6 liters amounting to Php 300.00 of kerosene each month.
Through the European Union’s Access to Sustainable Energy Programme, Mahintana Foundation, Inc. and Peace and Equity Foundation together with South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative Inc., Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative, Inc., Bacbacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Kiamb Microentrepreneurs Multipurpose Cooperative, KPS-SEED Microfinance Inc., Sta. Cruz Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Dole Philippines, Inc. are implementing the Strengthening Off-grid Lighting with Appropriate Renewable Energy Solutions (SOLARES) Project in off-grid rural communities of Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat, Region XII, Mindanao, Philippines.
Project Components & Updates
Through the rural electrification/solar home system electrification component, 3,000 off-grid households in Maasim, Kiamba, and Maitum, Sarangani are installed with solar home system (SHS) units through SOCOTECO II. For Sultan Kudarat, the project hopes to complete the 3,000-target within October 2021 to complete the 6,000-target households. In total, SOLARES has installed and verified 5,769 SHS units for households in the two provinces.
Through Peace and Equity Foundation, SOLARES released Php 25.2 million benefitting 1,389 households with the livelihood component by partnering with 6 cooperatives/microfinance institutions operating in Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat. In 2020, Peace and Equity Foundation provided working capital, consolidation, and marketing support to coffee farmers in Lebak and Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat. This implementing partner also supported through pandemic recovery loans for communities affected by the COVID-19 in Sarangani.
For productive uses of renewable energy (PURE) support, Mahintana Foundation, Inc. prepared 11 proposals (solar-powered water systems, coffee processing machines, feed mill, rice miller, corn sheller, etc.) in support of community livelihoods in project areas. Several of these PURE support projects have their construction ongoing in beneficiary provinces of Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat.
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