A man recharges a batteryKORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato—At least 293 households in one of the most remote villages of Bagumbayan town, Sultan Kudarat, are now benefiting the solar battery charging stations and streetlights project of Department of Social Welfare and Development, an agency top official reported Thursday.
Bai Zorahayda T. Taha, DSWD-12 regional director said that the project, with the total amount of P1.38 million consisting of 13 units of solar battery charging stations and 15 units of streetlights, is located in mountainous village of Sumilil, about 50 kilometers away from the town proper of Bagumbayan.
“Before the project came, Sumilil residents used either gas lamps or rechargeable batteries to light up their homes at night, exhausting the meager income and time for livelihood of local villagers,”Taha said.
The project was constructed to address the most pressing needs of the community by providing Sumilil villagers with solar energy for basic needs and reduce the time and expenses required for travelling.
Taha added that in order for the residents to recharge their batteries, they have to go down to Gapok, the nearest barangay which is already part of Senator Ninoy Aquino town.
Villagers spent P20.00 as charging fee plus P100.00 for fare.
Lulicia Magabala, 30, a Manobo mother of four, said that the project has helped them reduce the time and expenses required for travelling just to recharge batteries to light up their homes at night.
“Now, aside from saving money and time, our children can now study at night and our community becomes alive with the solar streetlights,” Magabala said.
The project was constructed under Kalahi-CIDSS, an agency program utilizing community-driven development as strategy in which development priorities are addressed in participatory, collective and inclusive decision-making. Control over resources is in the hands of the community.
Aside from Kalahi-CIDSS, Sumilil is also a beneficiary community of Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program and Sustainable Livelihood Program of the DSWD. ### (Hilbert T. Estacion, Regional Social Marketing Officer, DSWD-12)