Sibaltan beach at sunset. (Photo courtesy of Dean Peter Diokno)

The Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI) has partnered with Spanish infrastructure firm Acciona to work on a project that will provide solar energy to some 100 households in Barangay Sibaltan, El Nido.

According to AFI manager Chiara Cruza, the project is still in its initial stage and has yet to finalize how the project will be conducted in Sitio Buluang in Sibaltsn. The area is reportedly not connected to the main power grid because of its distance to the barangay proper.

“Ang target site nya ay Sibaltan particularly Sitio Buluang, Puroks 4A and 4B. Nasa initial stage pa lang kami. Acciona is working to get a MOA (memorandum of agreement) signed with PALECO. Finalization stage na sila sa content,” she said in an interview through Messenger on Wednesday.

“We can’t determine final number yet kasi ongoing ang technical and feasibility study pero should not be below a hundred as mentioned by Acciona sa kanilang news release,” she added.

Cruza added that Acciona aims to do an ocular survey this February in Sibaltan to validate the data that was gathered with AFI’s help, which will determine the cost of the entire project. According to one press release by Acciona, the target is to provide more than eight hours of electricity every day to households.

“We had our first community consultation sa Sibaltan last October 2021. We did the initial survey ng buluang households in November [2021]. We schedule another community consultation this February,” she said.

She added that AFI’s main goal at the moment is to finalize Acciona’s MOA with PALECO, which is also what Acciona will be doing during their visit to El Nido.

Aside from this project, AFI, along with the Ayala-owned subsidiary Ten Knots Philippines, Inc. has worked on other corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects in El Nido. Their projects range from providing income opportunities and training to leading infrastructure projects.