OMF enhances Bohol facility’s use

An indigenous tribe in Pilar, Bohol, has been reaping the benefits of One Meralco Foundation’s electrification project, resulting in more efficient food processing operations for their cooperative.

OMF installed a 2.2 kilowatt, or kW, solar photovoltaic lighting system with a 5.1 kWh battery system to power the operations of the Lundag Eskaya Tribe Multipurpose Cooperative, or LETMULCO, which processes kamote (sweet potato) into chips, ketchup, and juice.

Through the project, the production of kamote chips of LETMULCO now utilizes an electric potato chipper, which quadruples the output to 200 packs a day from 50 packs done manually.

This consequently increases the income of the cooperative members to around P7,000 daily from P2,000.

Kamote plays a significant role in the life of the Eskaya community since the crop is their traditional food and primary agricultural product.

“With electricity, we can use the sweet potato chipper and produce one sack of chopped kamote in only an hour,” LETMULCO learning and enterprise manager Jenelie Sandigan said.

“Now, we can expand our operations to accommodate more and bigger orders because we already have electricity.”


Electricity enhances opportunities

According to OMF president Jeffrey Tarayao, the electrification project highlights the importance of electricity in enhancing livelihood opportunities and programs for many agricultural communities and local cooperatives in rural areas.

“We know that electrification is a driver of progress and development in many rural areas in the Philippines, particularly if these benefit farmers’ agricultural and livelihood initiatives,” Tarayao added.

The town of Pilar is the latest beneficiary of the different electrification and environmental sustainability programs of OMF in the province of Bohol, where 18 remote and off-grid island schools have also been energized using solar PV systems in the past years.

OMF also collaborated with the provincial government of Bohol, local government units in the area, and Process Bohol, a non-government organization for the planting of 100,000 trees as part of the One for Trees environmental program — which advocates for the preservation and protection of Philippine forests through reforestation and agroforestry.

“The community electrification programs of Meralco, through OMF, are our humble contribution to help underprivileged communities improve their lives. By harnessing the power of renewable energy, we can support their livelihood and empower them to be productive contributors to society,” Meralco executive vice president and chief operating pfficer Ronnie Aperocho said.

As Meralco’s corporate social development arm, OMF is committed to spreading the light to as many underserved communities as possible.

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