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Solar Energization: An Answered Prayer for Mangyan School
Source: Manila Bulletin April 25, 2011
Pamana Ka School is a Franciscan-managed school in the municipality of Bulalacao at the southermost tip of Oriental Mindoro. It is headed by Sister Aristea Bautista and home to 108 Mangyan students: 57 in elementary and 51 in high school.
Due to the distance between their homes and the school, all students are housed in the school dormitories. There is no access road going tto the school, which can only be reached by a four-wheeled drive during the dry season, and by foot during the rainy season.
Until March 2010, the Pamana Ka had no electricity, being too far into the mountains to be connected to the local electric service. Students could only dream of viewing educational television programs, had to rush their homework before night fell or they would have to work by the light of wick lamp, risking eye damage as well as fire
In support of the Mangyan youth, the Rotary Club (RC) of Makati East adopted the school as a beneficiary. It provided a package of Adtel solar solutions, which RC Makati East president Aldrin Cerrado considered as the practical answer to the students' prayers for electric service.
The package included the Adtel Solar Home Kit, a compact system that harnesses the power of the sun to bring light and other basic comforts and conveniences to places not served by electric cooperatives. These kits lighted up Pamana Ka dormitories, where students had used wick lamps for reading and doing homework.
RC Makati East also ordered the Plug and Play solar system, enabling students to watch their favorite educational programs in the classroom.
In addition, Angel Eye, a LED-street light, lived up to its name like a loving angel watching over the school community at night.
RC Makati East adopted Pamana Ka as a beneficiary, after RC Makati East past president Felix Custana discovered the school and its needs in 2010 as he travelled to remote areas building water systes. Adtel President Reynaldo Casas, and Adtel Renewable Energy Division head Raymond Oliver S. Batara are also members of RC Makati East.
The Renewable Energy Act or R.A. 9513 was approved in December 2008, encouraging both government and private sectors to develop natural energy resources as and alternative source of electricity.
It has been full year since the solar systems were installed in Pamana Ka. And the Mangyan students will continue to benefit from the project well into the next school year until graduation.
As Sister Aristea Bautista put it, "The solar systems brought enthusiasm to the students because now they can study better at night (Nakabigay ng sigla ng buhay dahil nakakapag-aral na ng maayos ang mga bata sa gabi). The school received not only lighting, but also great inspiration and moral support to the poorest of the poor (Hindi lang ilaw ang naipagkaloob sa paaralan kundi malaking inspirasyon at moral support na ipagpatuloy ang mga ganitong pagsusumikap na maiparating ang tulong sa mga mahihirap pa sa mahirap)."