The leading Filipino operator Globe Telecom has partnered with the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) and Solar Energy Foundation to provide solar lamps to families in remote regions of the archipelago.
The initial wave distributed lamps to 66 families in the Brgy. Tumanding Arakan Valley in North Cotabato. Particular priority was placed on women with young children; 33-year old mother of three Rosalyn Calatao said that the solar lamp would make life much easier 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.
Although Brgy. Tumanding does have access to grid electricity, access requires a P5,000 installation fee as well as a monthly service fee of around P400-P800. This has proven too expensive for the 800-strong farming community.
Globe has partnered with the PEF – a charity which protects the habitat of the Philippine Eagle – and the Solar Energy Foundation in order to provide solar lamps to communities that aid in this cause. 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, 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. In addition, the lamps are significantly safer than the oil lamps that were the previous standard, as they eliminate the risk of fire.