GENERAL SANTOS CITY – After decades of waiting, a remote village in Lake Sebu town in South Cotabato is now fully energized through an innovative solar power project spearheaded by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Rafael Abrogar II, TESDA-Region 12 director, said Monday all 250 households of Sitio Blit in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, already have access to basic electricity services after many years.
Abrogar said they delivered and helped install last week some 150 photovoltaic (PV) system kits to complete the energization of the village under its Project TALA or “TESDA Alay Ay Liwanag at Asenso.”
“Residents of Sitio Blit endured over seven decades of darkness at night, which was made worse by their remote location and inaccessible roads. That has now changed,” Abrogar said in a statement.
Sitio Blit, inhabited by Tboli and Manobo tribes and, considered as among the remotest communities in South Cotabato, was chosen by TESDA last year as a pilot area of Project TALA, which aims to aims to provide solar energy to geographically isolated villages where regular electricity distribution lines have not yet reached.
The initiative is aligned with the national government’s efforts to deliver basic services and transform communities previously influenced by the communist New People’s Army through the “whole-of-nation” approach as provided for in Executive Order No. 70 of President Rodrigo Duterte.
TESDA, in coordination with its partners, had conducted series of training in the area since last year on PV system installation and maintenance as part of the project.
An initial 100 PV system kits were distributed and installed by the residents, who were also provided with livelihood training and other support assistance from various government agencies.
Abrogar said the energization of the village is just the start, and more interventions will be given to residents in the coming months.
He cited the case of the family of Mitya Ligal, who benefited from various services provided by other government agencies, such as the processing of birth and marriage certificates.
Residents of Sito Blit and nearby Sitio Limdel are currently undergoing training on agriculture to help them develop a five-hectare community farm in the area.
The official said more training programs would also be implemented for residents in other areas in Barangay Ned, which covers 52 sitios. (PNA)