Solar lamps light up remote valley in North Cotabato

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Cousins Rosalyn Calatao (left) and Rosalyn Masanguid (right) proudly show their new solar lamp[/caption] Unmindful of the grueling walk along slippery gravel roads, these women were at the site early, eager to finally leave behind the dim, flickering light of oil lamps which were their lone companion for all these years. For Rosalyn Calatao, a 33-year old mother of three, the solar lamp brings a promise of better life for her family. ?It?s so hard to do anything when there?s no light. The children can no longer study once darkness settles in. But with the solar lamp, they can already answer their homework anytime. I can also be more productive even at night. This makes us very happy,? she said in the vernacular. Calatao?s words were echoed by her cousin and namesake Rosalyn Masanguid who at age 23 is already a mother to a three-year old girl. For Masanguid, the solar lamp makes taking care of her child a lot easier aside from being safer since it eliminates the risk of starting a fire or causing burns from unattended oil lamps. Brgy. Tumanding is not really in an off-grid area but to have access to electricity, one has to pay a P5,000 installation fee aside from the monthly service fee of about P400-P800, an amount which the farming community of about 800 people cannot afford. This situation prompted Globe and PEF, in cooperation with Solar Energy Foundation, to help the community, initially by providing solar lamps to the households of Bantay Gubat, a group of tribal people which protects the habitat of the Philippine Eagle. [caption id="attachment_12842" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Picturesque Arakan Valley[/caption] [caption id="attachment_12843" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Narrow gravel road leading to Brgy. Tumanding[/caption] [caption id="attachment_12844" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Happy recipients led by Sebnaka tribal council leader Datu Badang (center, front)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_12845" align="aligncenter" width="447"] Solar Energy Foundation field manager Ferdinand Enriquez demonstrates to attentive recipients how to operate and take care of the solar lamps[/caption] Last year, Globe partnered with PEF on its forest corridor development program in Arakan to restore wildlife habitats through rain forestation on grasslands along the forest corridor between the mountains of Mahuson, Sinaka and Kabalantiian-Binoongan-Kulaman (KABIKU) in Arakan Valley as well as provide assistance to its community partners with the end-goal of preserving the breeding places of the Philippine Eagle. ?We are doing the best we can to serve the communities which take care of the Philippine Eagle habitat. We believe that by improving their lives, they will also be more encouraged to get involved in various conservation initiatives in Arakan,? said Fernando Esguerra, OIC of Globe corporate social responsibility. The solar lamps work from four hours of continuous use under maximum setting to as long as 100 hours under bedtime setting. They can also be used to charge mobile phones, thereby, eliminating additional expenses to the family of P5 per charge.]]>

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