Around one thousand people of the rural community of Baliwet will benefit from solar stations donated by Chinese company State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) as it completes the project this month.
The project, which began on January 24, covers the communities of Old and New Baliwet in San Marcelino, Zambales with approximately 1,000 residents.
SGCC Philippines Deputy Director Liu Ming said over USD600,000 or approximately PHP31 million was allocated for the “Brighten Up” project.
“Before this solar project, there is no electricity that’s why we installed two solar power stations,” Liu told reporters during the site visit Thursday.
“Nearly 400 houses or 1,000 people will benefit but I think with the product, more and more residents from far away will move closer to the project site because this area has the electricity,” he added.
The SGCC is the technical partner of the country’s power grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). For two years, the SGCC will help maintain the Baliwet solar stations before turning the infrastructure over to a local electric cooperative.
Liu said the project is a first of its kind that is initiated by a Chinese corporation. “In the future, we are planning to (initiate more),” he said.
In addition to electricity, Liu said Huawei Philippines will also provide mobile phone signals and Internet coverage for the area and give the locals “opportunity to know well what’s happening in the world, what’s the news in the world.”
Near the solar station at the New Baliwet Elementary School, SGCC built a communication tower to be used by Huawei once the government has given its approval for the Chinese company to access the area.
“We built the communications tower and Huawei will donate some communication device. Right now, we are waiting for government approval to access this area,” he said.
For Elanie Cawagas, a teacher at the New Baliwet Elementary School, the initiative is “very beneficial” especially to the teachers and the students of the Baliwet primary schools.
“Because there was no electricity before, we cannot play our video presentation to the students when the batteries of our laptops are emptied, so we cannot maximize the way we teach. Back then our students also struggled due to heat. We don’t have wall fans more so electricity to power one if we have,” she said.
“Now, our pupils are more motivated in the teaching-learning process, they are more cooperative in all school class activities,” she added.
On June 27, SGCC will inaugurate the stations together with officials from the government, tentatively Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua. (PNA)
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