Off-grid Aetas to get solar electricity

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Sr. Eva Fidela Maamo, Foundation of Our Lady of Peace Mission, Inc. (FOLPMI) president (Photo: FOLPMI)


MANILA, Nov. 21, 2015 – A Christian convert Aeta community in Zambales currently not connected to the national power grid will soon enjoy solar electrification, a senior official of a foundation said on Monday.

Private groups will provide the solar equipment to bring power to the community, said Sr. Eva Fidela Maamo, Foundation of Our Lady of Peace Mission, Inc. (FOLPMI) president.

According to her, the said solar electrification will benefit 130 houses or about 700 households in an ethnic re-settlement in sitio Gala, Sacatihan, Subic.

Recharging in another village

The Aetas will have electricity at night and can charge their mobile phones anytime of the day, explained Maamo, a nun-surgeon.

Most of the Aetas in the community use mobile phones who pay to recharge their batteries in another village, she added.

Each house will pay a monthly due of Php 100 for the maintenance of the solar equipment, Maamo said.

The community has its own solar engineers who trained on assembly, maintenance, and repair at the Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India from September 2014 to March this year.

100 houses go solar

Patricia Bunye, Women in Resource Development, Inc. (Diwata) president, in a Business Mirror report on Sept. 28, 2014, said about Php 2.6 million is needed to bring solar power to 100 houses.

With solar electrification, the Aetas will not experience power rate hikes that households in Metro Manila and other parts of the country do, said Japhet E. Miano Kariuki, a key person for the program.

Maamo did not mention any date, but said the solar electrification will commence as soon as the solar equipment are ready.

FOLPMI has been oversees the community of Aetas after resettlement following the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1992. (Oliver Samson / CBCP News)

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