Local gymnasium of Barangay Culandanum in Bataraza town energized by solar power through SDMP 2022 budget. (Photo from RTNMC)

Following the installation of a million-peso eight-kilowatt solar power project supported by a mining corporation, the officials of Barangay Culandanum in Bataraza see continuing improvement in providing services to locals.

Before the installation, Culandanum was reliant on a diesel-powered generator set, according to barangay captain Edmundo Oghayon. Due to the expenses incurred by the barangay in the electrification of facilities, the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) allotted a P1 million budget for solar power from the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) fund.

The barangay is located on the border of the municipalities of Bataraza and Rizal and is awaiting connection to the Palawan Electric Cooperative’s lines (PALECO).

Photo from Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation

“Sabi nila (PALECO) sa amin ay hinahanapan pa ng third party kaya nag-iisip kami na matatagalan pa bago magkaroon ng kuryente dito sa Culandanum kaya agaran namin nilaanan ng solar– Ang nakikita naming development ay mas mapaayos ang serbisyo namin lalo na sa pangkalusugan kasi kailangan din ng kuryente ang aming health center,” he said.

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“At ma-improve din ang kakahayan ng aming kabataan pagdating sa sports dahil araw at gabi ay pwede sila makapag-ensayo ng basketball dahil napakaliwanag na ng aming gymnasium. Masi-secure natin ang property ng ating barangay dahil ito ay maliwanag na ang paligid tuwing gabi,” he added.

Photo from Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation

Vannesa Apilan, community development coordinator, said that the recent installation of solar electricity will power the barangay’s gymnasium, health center, senior citizen hall, and daycare center.

Prior to the installation of the eight-kilowatt solar power system on April 25, the barangay budgeted P300,000 for solar electricity for the functioning of the barangay hall in 2021. The same initiative was also supported by the RTNMC’s SDMP fund.

“Magagamit na rin ‘yan sa buong pasilidad na magkaroon ng ilaw at mas mapapadali na rin ang transaksyon. Maraming activities kasi ang barangay, at least ngayon, may ilaw na silang nagagamit,” she said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.