The Ata community in Sitio Damilag, Barangay Mapula in Davao City can now enjoy brighter evenings following the installation of a new solar charging station in the area last June 4.
Davao Light and Power Co. (Davao Light) turned over to the group the facility along with LED lamps and rechargeable batteries to 40 household-beneficiaries. With this equipment, residents can now safely roam the community at night and enjoy the radio.
“The experience was enriching and rewarding, seeing the genuine joy of a tribal community for a gift that they have been all dreaming for years,” Davao Light Manager for Community Relations Fermin Edillon said.
An off-grid area within Davao Light’s franchise, Sitio Damilag is about 73 kilometers or a 2.5-hour trip from Davao City proper. To get there, one must journey through narrow and bumpy roads, and cross several streams.
Before the turnover, their only source of light was the bright night sky and the flames coming from their kerosene lamps, which they spend P300 a month on to maintain.
Davao Light also installed electrical wiring, bulb receptacles, and convenience outlets to the homes of its beneficiaries. With these, light is just a flick of a switch away.
The company’s Streetlights and Poles Utilities department, headed by its manager Donald Diwara, traveled tirelessly to and from Sitio Damilag to conduct pre-installation works.
The utility also partnered with the Ateneo de Davao University’s Mindanawon Initiative for Cultural Dialogue program to help in the capacity building of the residents.
A group of women from the tribe will be trained in handling day-to-day operations, which includes collection, maintenance, and other activities necessary for the solar charging station. Davao Light will also provide technical assistance to sustain the facility’s operations.
Davao Light will continue to identify off-grid areas in far-flung communities to provide them with projects that are timely and necessary to help improve the lives of the IP communities there, fulfilling the utility’s commitment to advancing business and communities.