Deviating from the usual grand celebration for Baragatan sa Palawan, the provincial government opted today, June 23, to distribute 2,000 sets of solar home system to the indigents of Brooke’s Point town.
According to Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez, “Imbes na bonggang selebrasyon, sabi ko mas maganda maghatid na lang tayo ng serbisyo sa mga barangay.” (“Instead of an extravagant celebration, I thought it will be better for us to just deliver services to barangays.”)
Today’s activity in Brooke’s Point serves as a kick-off for the planned distribution of 27,200 solar home sets throughout Palawan. According to the governor, beneficiaries in other municipalities are still in the process of re-validation.
Meanwhile, one of the initial recipients, Madelyn Panger of Bgy. Imulnod, said that “mula nang pinanganak ako, nasanay na kami wala kuryente. Kaya malaki tulong talaga sa amin itong solar.” (“Since I was born we’ve been used to having no electricity, so this is really a big help to us.”)
One set of solar home system is composed of durable solar panel resistant to dust and heat, lithium-based battery, bulbs, solar lanterns and charging cable for cellular phones, according to Angelo Valenton of Power4all and President of Best Brands Inc.
Gov. Alvarez stressed out that these solar lights are for free, and the provincial government will not collect any amount of maintenance fee since each set has a 2-year warranty. “Pakiusap ko lang ‘wag nyo naman ibenta. Sa mga ‘di nabigyan, wag kayong mag-alala may kasunod pa ‘yan,” Alvarez said. (“My only appeal is [for them to] please don’t sell [the set]. For those who weren’t able to receive one, please don’t worry, there will be a next batch.”)
Brooke’s Point Mayor Mary Jean Feliciano asked for the understanding of those who may have wanted to avail of the project but were not included in the list. “Gusto kasi talaga natin masiguro, na ang makakatanggap ang yung mga taga bundok na talagang hindi maaabot ng Paleco,” she said. (“What we really want to ensure is that the recipients are those living in remote areas which the Paleco can’t reach.”)
June 23 is a special non-working holiday for Palawan thru RA 9746. ‘Baragatan sa Palawan’ is an annual local celebration where the province’s 23 municipalities converge to celebrate the Foundation Day of Palawan. Traditionally, booths for each municipality are set up at the Provincial Capitol to showcase the salient features of each area, such as in terms of popular product, activities or tourist destinations. The Baragatan is considered as one of the most anticipated annual events organized by the provincial government.