For a community of the indigenous group Batak in Sitio Kalakwasan, Bgy. Tanabag in Puerto Princesa, power supply is definitely much better, with no experience of load curtailment, load shedding and black-out. Their tribal chieftain, Dionecio Saavedra, shared that the community has been under a 24/7 power supply since hydroelectric and solar power systems were installed in their few years ago.
“Walang brown-out, brown-out dito sa amin, may hydro kami, may solar at may generator,” he exclaimed. The said Batak community, composed of 54 households, received the said power supply systems from Pilipinas Shell Foundation, the social arm of the oil company Shell, which provided the equipment and facility to the indigenous groups as part of their community programs. The Barangay Council of Tanabag also helped the community acquire a generator set as an alternative source of electricity.
“Ganun lang kami dito Ma’am. ‘Pag mababa ang tubig, mag solar kami. ‘Pag wala pa din, papaandarin lang generator,” Saavedra said.
He clarified however that the services of electricity is not 100 % free, although they are only required to pay a minimal amount of P100, regardless of how many appliances they have in their houses.
Saavedra expressed gratitude to the barangay council, to the local government unit and to all NGOs extending help to them not just in terms of electricity but in all aspects to uplift their ways of living. “Malaki na din po nabago sa buhay namin. Dalawa na dito sa amin ang may TV, marami na din may mga motor.”
Meanwhile, Bgy. Captain Marcelito Dancil said that they are willing to give all possible help to the Batak Community. “Hindi naman dahil sa tourist attraction sila, kundi dahil mga lehitimong constituents,” he said. The latest barangay project for the tribal community is the construction of a basketball court, Bgy. Capt. Dancil added. The community also enjoys water services provided by the local government unit.