Three electric cooperatives (ECs) recently inked an agreement with a non-government organization (NGO) to power off-grid communities through renewable energy systems in the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur. 

Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (DANECO), Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (DASURECO), and Davao Oriental Electric Cooperative, Inc. (DORECO) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on solar energy project with Yamog Renewable Energy Development Group, Inc. (Yamog) on September 22.

“We are thankful to the European Union and non-government organizations like Yamog for helping the Philippine government.”

National Electrification Administration (NEA) Administrator Edgardo Masongsong witnessed the signing of the agreement during DANECO’s  48th founding anniversary celebration in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

The project, funded by the European Union-Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (EU-ASEP), will boost the thrust of the Philippine government towards the attainment of a 100-percent household electrification by 2022.

Signatories to the document were DANECO Acting General Manager Mario Angelo Sotto, DASURECO Officer-in-Charge/General Manager Ferdinand Canastra, DORECO General Manager Gregory Dukil, and Yamog Managing Director Porferio Jabla, Jr. 

“Access to electricity is essential for economic and social development. We are thankful to the European Union and non-government organizations like Yamog for helping the Philippine government in bringing electricity to even the most remote areas in the country, particularly here in Mindanao,” Masongsong said. 

Under the agreement, Yamog, the implementing NGO of the project, will provide renewable energy technologies, such as solar home lighting and micro-hydropower systems, in off-grid areas covered by DANECO, DASURECO, and DORECO.

NEA data show there are still about 1,702 off-grid areas across the country, of which 1,003 communities are in Mindanao

“This is a very historic moment not only for us but for all the households in off-grid communities that we are going to serve,” Jabla said during the ceremonial signing of the memorandum of agreement.

Jabla said the EU-ASEP has allotted P70.5 million for DANECO, about P40 million for DORECO, and P30.6 million for DASURECO to provide access to renewable energy technologies for far-flung and off-grid areas.

DANECO Acting General Manager Mario Angelo Sotto welcomed the project, saying this would help boost the power coop’s electrification rate, particularly in areas that are not connected to power grid.

Sotto said there are about 167 unviable areas within DANECO’s franchise area. Of the number, 147 unviable areas are found in Davao del Norte, and 20 unviable areas are in Compostela Valley.

NEA data show there are still about 1,702 off-grid areas across the country with no access to electricity, of which 1,003 communities are located in Mindanao, while 142 areas and 557 areas in Luzon and Visayas, respectively, as of February 2018. 

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