March2012March 2013 FINAL ISSUE Volume 1 Issue 2LIWANAG * *Brightness or luminosityAn AMORE Program Newsletter Off-grid Rural Electrification Intensified
“ It’s been truly an honor and pleasure working with all of you! 2 Communities Radiate AMORE Program Project MapT he Alliance for Mindanao and Multi- 7 Strategies for Sustainability Bringing Modern Energy Sources to Regional Renewable/Rural Energy Development From The COP’s Desk Rural Households Firing Up Students’ Learning throughor AMORE Program is Modern Education And so here we are – after over ten years of doing rurala collaboration among electrification work – near the end of the road. Equipmentthe Department of Pumping Up Healthier Lives through “Rural electrification work” sounds fairly straightforward; but for thoseEnergy, United States outside the sector, the innocent phrase does not quite completely access to Safe WaterAgency for International capture the complexity of the challenge, the necessity for multi-trackDevelopment, SunPower processes in search for solutions, and the richness the experience 13 The Workers has given both us at the Program, and the rural community AMORE Staff SurveyFoundation and Winrock stakeholders. Our PartnersInternational toward What have we really done these past ten years?electrification of remote, I can, of course, say that the Program has brought renewable energy 19 Their Storiesoff-grid rural communities access to over 30,000 households in nearly 500 villages, or that How BRECDAs get to play their we have brought electricity to nearly 400 schools, or that we have CARD rightusing renewable energy given safe water access to nearly 30,000 rural households. But,sources such as solar and indeed, it is that time in every Program life where one looks beyond Rural Schools hold on to new found the figures and statistics, and the glossy newspaper and magazinemicro-hydro. articles and features, and asks oneself: What real legacy are we “power” leaving behind? A Tale of Two Communities Even as we ask ourselves this question, a number of BRECDAs – whose safe water source is harnessed the local community associations that we had organized in each by energy from the sun village – in Davao, Maguindanao, Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are slowly entering the solar PV business in partnership with renewable energy suppliers and microfinance institutions. Even 27 Our two cents’ worth Lessons on Rural Electrification: as we ponder the question of our legacy, members of communities look forward to their new roles – and indeed new life – as skilled the AMORE Experience technician, project manager, or entrepreneur. What we have done is transfer the skills necessary to members of the community so that they may successfully continue where we’re leaving off. We understand that it is only through them that the benefits of rural electrification could sustainably radiate to every household in each of their villages and beyond. It’s been a long, winding, and equally exciting and challenging road. And it is one we are eternally grateful that you, our partners, have r chosen to walk on with us. newslette It’s been truly an honor and pleasure working with all of you! Contents Laurie B. Navarro Chief of Party
CommunitiesRadiateOver the past ten years, AMORE has worked with people from nearly 500 villages in more than100 towns and cities around the country.Find out where these Communities-through which the benefits of renewable energy andsafe water access could Radiate outwards to more rural residents–are.
4 5 GENERAL PROJECT TALLY Household Electrifica- School Electrification and Water, Sanitation tion Distance Education & Hygiene AREA Number of Households Number of Schools Number of Households Phase 3 Phase 3 Phase 3 TOTAL TOTAL TOTAL (2009-2013) (2009-2013) (2009-2013)BASILAN 4220 1520 13 13 2739SULU 9624 5062 59 4 5399 427TAWI-TAWI 6330 3780 59 29LANAO DEL SUR 94 1MAGUINDANAO 10011 6194 74 21 1800 8247SULTAN KUDARAT 791 423 33 25 4633AGUSAN DEL SUR 6 6ZAMBOANGA CITY 437 317 8 6 405 405ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR 810 23 391ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE 74 25 11 3223 474ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY 390 12 5 365BUKIDNON 3 3DAVAO CITY 887 781 10 10DAVAO DEL NORTE 120 60DAVAO DEL SUR 85 85SAMAL ISLAND 4 4NORTH COTABATO 2 2SARANGANI 13 13 1076 1076SOUTH COTABATO 250 250 4 4 5215 5215BATANGAS 12 12LAGUNA 1 1NCR 1 1QUEZON 2 2 2000 2000PALAWAN 2 2 465 465 GRAND TOTAL: 34123 18472 367 174 26030 19990
Strategiesfor Sustainability After all the work is done, AMORE withdraws from the community and leaves a people not only with access to electricity, but a community with the power and the ability to further the work that AMORE had begun. Through carefully thought out Strategies for Sustainability, AMORE has transferred appropriate knowledge and skills to community associations, linked them up with relevant organizations, and put in place mainstreaming institutional mechanisms.
8 9 Microfinance InstitutionsBRINGING O ver the years, the Alliance for Mindanao and Multi- and Renewable Energy Suppliers:MODERN regional Renewable/Rural Energy Development (AMORE) program has slowly built and beefed up the elements constituting sustainable rural electrification. the link to affordable PV technologyENERGY From national, regional and provincial institutions down to the community level, the program has set in motion R olled out in December 2011, and Rural Development-BusinessSERVICES innovative approaches and put in place mechanisms to help ensure that the benefits of renewable energy lighting AMORE’s Business Development Assistance (BDA) scheme delivered Development Services Foundation, Inc. (CARD-BDFSI) to do businessTO RURAL not only be sustained for years to come by AMORE- 2,500 units of various capacities of with them. The MFI loaned out to energized communities, but also be extended to more off- solar PV products to 26 communities each BRECDA an initial 50,000-peso grid rural households in the Mindanao region and beyond.HOUSEHOLDS across Mindanao. Sourced from worth of solar PV products (payable renewable energy suppliers, the PV in six months), which the BRECDAs in products did not only mean start-up turn leased out to members of their capital inventory for the BRECDAs villages. And owing to a high collection but also translated to business for performance by the two BRECDAs, Microfinance Institution the PV companies. More than 6 CARD has recently upgraded their & renewable energy companies – both credit limit to 150,000 pesos. Renewabl e Energy those operating nationally andCommunity Association: Supplier with provincial/regional focus – participated in AMORE activities – e.g. CARD is continuing to expand its solar operations in Mindanao, havingthe pivotal force that drives rural PV electrification product exhibitions – that aim to begun to do business with BRECDAs promote renewable energy technology in Maguindanao, Tawi-tawi and the as a viable energy option for rural Zamboanga Peninsula, while looking A t the core of AMORE’s rural electrification efforts is the local community organizations. Started as mere recipients of development assistance, members Women in the communities were given special attention by the program, and were looked upon as another group that is in a special position to drive areas. to become the primary partner of Parents-Teachers Associations in Solar PV business is catching on so that Sulu and Basilan in the school-based of village associations called the Barangay Renewable electrification efforts in rural areas. In cooperation microfinance institutions (MFIs) have associations’ efforts to join the solar PV Energy and Community Development Association or with activity partners, Asian Development Bank and also ventured into it. With 600,000 business. BRECDA have gone beyond passive acceptance of Copper Alliance-Southeast Asia, AMORE launched pesos total accumulated revenue grants and donations to being the primary drivers a series of all-women training workshops on PV between the Bantol and Magsaysay AMORE has linked the BRECDAs to of rural PV electrification. With members’ technical, installation and servicing where a total of 66 women BRECDAs in the Marilog District of financing and technology sources organizational, financial systems and entrepreneurial from 50 villages across 18 municipalities in Davao, Davao City, the two BRECDAs were so that the communities’ solar PV skills beefed up through appropriate trainings and Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi able to get the Center for Agriculture business may expand beyond AMORE’s capacity-building activities, the BRECDA is the force and the Zamboanga Peninsula, program life. that is well-positioned to spread the benefits of participated. Community renewable energy lighting to off-grid rural villages Association in Mindanao. Of the 474 BRECDAs organized by AMORE since 2002, 50 had been assessed to be still functioning as an organization by 2010. Sixteen (16) of these showed tremendous potential to be entrepreneurs, and they were aptly guided by the program for their new role in rural electrification. TESDA Motolite & Philippine Recycl ers, Inc.Technical Educationand Skills Development Authority: Motolite and Philippine Recyclers, Inc.:institutionalizing solar photovoltaic technology education keeping clean energy technology truly cleanA long with the growth of the solar PV market in in 2011, the Technical Education and Skills Development To systematize the disposal of junk Corporation, and the recycling which then buys the ULABs from the and the environment. Appropriate servicing and design. An initial batch of 21 trainers batteries in AMORE-assisted barangays organization Philippine Recyclers, Inc. BRECDA and transports them for information materials in the form of Mindanao comes the challenge of providing Authority (TESDA) in the Autonomous Region in and assessors graduated under these programmes where solar PV equipment are used, (PRI), for the collection and recycling recycling to PRI. Residents of the village handouts, posters and tarpaulins wereafter-sales services and necessary manpower support Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), with help from AMORE, and now train other would-be PV technicians all the program facilitated the forging of used lead-acid batteries or ULAB. have been trained on proper battery disseminated to the BRECDAs, schoolsfor PV industry development on the areas of PV conducted a training course designed to prepare over the region, helping build a sufficient pool of PV of tripartite partnership agreements Under the agreement, the BRECDA handling, and are aware of the toxic and other local partners, to provideinstallation, servicing and design. For four years, the would-be trainers and assessors in conducting experts that will adequately support the growing PV among the BRECDA, battery distributor, collects ULABs from the households in elements in a battery and its potential these organizations with the procedureprogram worked to mainstream PV education into the the newly promulgated three National PV Training market. Oriental Motolite Marketing the village and then contacts Motolite, harmful effects to human health and system to handle, manage andnational technical-vocational education system, and Certification courses on PV systems installation, dispose the toxic materials.
10 11 PUMPING UP HEALTHEIR LIVES THROUGH ACCESS TO SAFE WATER AMORE went back to the schools and communities that have been using a safe water system for six months or longer, and these are what we found out:Kaya matibay Mag-impok para Residents, especially women and children, spend less timeang walis, sa tag-ulan. 1 fetching water. Rural villagers used to spend as much as an hour and twenty minutes fetching water, and with a newpalibhasa’y (Save for a rainy day.) source for potable water, fetching time now ranges between five and twelve minutes, giving residents an opportunity tonabibigkis. devote more time for more productive activities.(Strong is the broom whosesticks are bound.) A s the solar photovoltaic system saves energy onto the batteries for use beyond daytime, including rainy days, the schools Villagers now have more water at their disposal. From as little as 5 liters per person per day, the volume of water a person and communities that host them are also uses has gone up up to 60 liters, making rural residentsA t the center of AMORE’s efforts on sustainability is the participation fromand cooperation among all stakeholders – enjoined to save up for when technical troubles in the system occurred. able to go about their daily tasks more easily. Prior to the construction of the water systems, residents limited their water use to drinking and cooking owing to the distance ofparents, teachers, students, and education Through policies and mechanisms crafted by To keep the water and benefits continuously flowing from the water sources and the significant cost of buying water frominstitutions. At the very beginning of the the schools and communities themselves, an potable water systems constructed by AMORE and its partners far sources. With a more convenient source of water and aproject, members of the local community operation and maintenance fund is regularly in rural schools and communities, the program once again more abundant supply, villagers now use water for cleaning, doing laundry, gardening, and most important, to maintainare encouraged to take ownership of filled, and this will ensure availability of looks to the very people the safe water projects serve. good hygiene.the project, and are equipped with the funds for the purchase of new batteries (atnecessary technical and organizational least PHP22,500 or USD550) which can run To date the program has facilitated the formation of twelve (12)know-how to make the most out of the out in three years. The Parents-Teachers Barangay Water Associations or BAWASAs that will take care of Households and schools spend less money for water. Tosolar-powered educational television, as Association (PTA) handles the annual the water systems’ operation and maintenance. Of the twelve 3 have water transported to them from neighboring villages, orwell as ICT (Information and Communication collection of fees from parents and safekeeps BAWASAs, ten have been registered with the Department of Labor sometimes, across bodies of water, households and schools the money in a bank account registered spend from 2,000 to 3,000 pesos a month. Fees collectedTechnology), equipment, and for the longest and Employment as people’s organizations. by the BAWASAs and PCTAs (Parents-Community-Teacherspossible time. under name of the PTA. Association) for the use of the water system, meanwhile, Beyond managing the water projects, BAWASAs have all undergone would only range from 100 to 450 pesos monthly.A major achievement for the program is Recently, AMORE performed an O&M fund organizational capacity building trainings to prepare them for theirgetting recognition from the Department collection monitoring, and results indicate an role as catalysts for development in their respective communities.of Education for the impacts that distance average 60 percent collection rate. Schoolseducation technologies cause to the students’ where the solar PV systems and educationaleducation. This recognition has made the equipment were consistently used by thegovernment agency commit to oversee teachers posted good collection rate, whilethe use and maintenance of the facility in schools where some technical problems (e.g.concerned rural schools. Coordinators have busted electric outlet, defective regulator,been assigned from the schools division up etc.) had occurred failed to reach 50 percentto the regional levels to regularly monitor collection.the use and effectiveness of the renewableenergy-powered educational television. Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan. (Our children are the hope of our future.) T he AMORE program believes in this popular line no less than Jose Rizal himself did, and that is why the program has invested in modern Solar photovoltaic modules power up televisions and computers – all too common in urban areas but still a rarity in these parts of the country – While AMORE’s school electrification projects are all about modernizing education methods, in this issue of LIWANAG, we look towards old adages for technology to help in the education of young to give students, who, until then had relied on hand the wisdom that we will be wise to remember if the students in rural areas, particularly, in Mindanao. drawn visuals, a better and clearer picture of the benefits of modern technology in these rural areas lessons of the modern world. are to be sustained.
The WorkersBringing electricity to rural villages in the far corners of the country is no easy task. But, always,where there is a worthy cause, there will always be people who would be willing to devote time andenergy, the distance and a great many challenges not withstanding.AMORE employed over 200 regular staff members over the course of ten years. Let’s hear from someof The Workers that helped bring light and water to distant communities.
14 15 What are the places you frequently visited while working What are the places you frequently visited while working What are the places you frequently visited while working for What is your most memorable experience at AMORE? for Amore? for Amore? Amore? Site visit to Mindanao with the Accounting guys Maguindanao, Sulu, Basilan, Zamboanga Zamboanga, Davao, Pangapuyan Marbel, South Cotabato; Zamboanga City; Bongao, T awi-Tawi from Zamboanga and Koronadal What is your favorite project site? What is your favorite project site? What is your favorite project site? What are your thoughts about our development efforts Brgy. Renti, North Upi, Maguindanao Pangapuyan, Zamboanga City The beaches of Sulu, Basilan and T awi-Tawi in Mindanao? If personal interest is set aside for real What is your most memorable experience at AMORE? What is your most memorable experience at AMORE? What is your most memorable experience at AMORE? development, not only Mindanao, but the entire Being stranded in a barangay in Upi during a storm. 1) Witnessing the happiness the project brings to 1) staff summer outings; 2) habal-habal and boat rides to our country would prosper. We were also almost hit by a bullet while travelling on a communities, and seeing how their lives change because barangays; 3) On a very brief stopover in an island barangay Cecille Rodriguez habal-habalinterviewed aMarsh. But the most memorable was when I in Ligwasan hardened MILF commander Rowena dela Cruz of these; 2) Working with peopleBeinggenuinelygroup who care Jane Deita in Basilan where the Chapmans had been held hostage, we were instructed to cover our heads and not look at anyone Ramoncito Madridejos Amore Staff from IEC Coordinator; about the program’s mission; 3) part of a M&E Manager Accounting Assistant 2004-present Finance and hiding in a barangay near Ligawasan Marsh who told me that is bound by a strong desire to do good. lest we be mistaken to be spies Documentation Administrative Officer 37 Yrs Old Current Organization & Position in all honesty “War is not the only thing in our minds.” Accounting Assistant at Winrock International Manager 41 Yrs Old What is the most important lesson you’ve learned here What is the most important lesson you’ve learned here in Amore Staff from What is the most important lesson you’ve learned here in AMORE? AMORE? 40 Yrs Old 2006-2009 Amore Staff from 2003-2012 in AMORE? A strong conviction in the cause by everybody is what Always wrap your things in plastic before travelling - more What are the places you frequently visited while working Humility makes a group achieve its objectives. often than not, it will get wet! for Amore? Amore Staff from Current Organization Current Organization & 2003-2006; & Position Position Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi What are your thoughts about our development efforts What are your thoughts about our development efforts What are your thoughts about our development efforts in 2010-present Operations officer at M&E consultant for an in Mindanao? in Mindanao? Mindanao? What is your favorite project site? the World Bank education project Respect for the unique culture and people of Mindanao Mindanao is a very beautiful place. If help continues Peace will be achieved if we work together. Coastal Area in Maguindanao; Lugus, Sulu Current Organization - that is all it takes to achieve peace in this land. The to pour and development is achieved, I’m certain that & Position government and non-Mindanaoans are taking decades to Mindanao will be all the more known, foremost, because What is your most memorable experience at AMORE? AMORE understand that. of its beauty. Being trapped in a sandbar in Sitangkai island, Tawi-Tawi at 10 at night; teaching BRECDAs bookkeeping techniques. Mateo de Guzman What is the most important lesson you’ve learned here M&E Specialist What are the places you frequently visited while working What are the places you frequently visited while working What are the places you frequently visited while in AMORE? for Amore? for Amore? working for Amore? To always act with caution when at a new place, and to 48 Yrs Old South and Central Mindanao; Zamboanga Peninsula; Brgy. Pantawan, Buldon Maguindanao; Brgy. Gadong Jolo, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga Peninsula observe carefully. Basilan; Quezon Province; Coron, Palawan and Ruminimbang, Barira, Maguindanao; Brgy. Kidama, Amore Staff from Matnog, Maguindanao What is your favorite project site? What are your thoughts about our development efforts 2004-2013 What is your favorite project site? 1) Kamamburingan, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan: this is one in Mindanao? Kahikukuk, Tongkil, Sulu: Its white, virginal beaches What is your favorite project site? area not easily visited by many, especially the If people learned to be not misguidedly dependent untouched by development and man’s greed is truly a All those villages military; 2) Titik, Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte: on politicians for help, and if they practiced discipline, site to behold. The mangroves backdropped by the pastel broke my shoes after five hours of walking; 3) Mindanao has a huge potential for development. colors of the sunset is a perfect setting for a diehard What is your most memorable experience at AMORE? Kahikukuk, Tongkil, Sulu: very accommodating Julius Oliveros romantic like me. Bainot ‘Vines’ When, shortly after giving birth, I travelled from Brgy. Meti, Jayson Llanda residents; 4) Simunol area: good Malay food North Upi, Maguindanao to Lebak, Sultan Kudarat, and What are the places you frequently visited while working Senior Safe Water Kalanganan-Andao Renewable Energy Specialist; Social What is your most memorable experience at AMORE? almost died, first, from falling off a horse, and then from Community the huge waves. I also remember going to a community Engineer What is your most memorable experience at for Amore? Projects Manager; When I had a tough talk with a village captain to make AMORE? Marilog District, Davao City development worker where I had to walk for six hours. WASH Manager sure that project materials were used for what it was 35 Yrs Old People screaming and crying because of huge intended. Twenty bags of cement for water system waves threatening to overturn the boat. What is your favorite project site? construction became 25 after that talk. 30 Yrs Old What is the most important lesson you’ve learned here 46 Yrs Old Amore Staff from Marilog District, Davao City in AMORE? Amore Staff since Sacrifice for a community that’s worse off than you 2003-2012 What is the most important lesson you’ve learned Amore Staff since What is the most important lesson you’ve learned here here in AMORE? What is your most memorable experience at AMORE? in AMORE? 2004-2007 I learned to value what I have after seeing so 2004-2013 Waiting for three hours for the fog to clear so I can Know who your friends are. What are your thoughts about our development efforts many people, especially children, without the resume my journey home from the village Current Organization & in Mindanao? conveniences that I enjoy. What are your thoughts about our development efforts Position So long as so many more people are poor in Mindanao, Eduardo Tuscano What is the most important lesson you’ve learned here in Mindanao? Youth Organizer at development could never be achieved. What are your thoughts about our development Community in AMORE? Unless the people of Mindanao display unity, harmony Kadtuntaya efforts in Mindanao? development worker Always be punctual, courteous and honest. Most of all, and peace among themselves (particularly for Muslim Foundation, Inc. I’m not very positive at the moment about exercise common sense. Mindanao), development will still have a long way to go development in Mindanao. 48 Yrs Old What are your thoughts about our development efforts Amore Staff from in Mindanao? 2012-present Get to the root of conflict so that development could ensue. Develop human capital, livelihood, and practice good governance. What are the places you frequently visited while working for What are the places you frequently visited while working Amore? What are the places you frequently visited while working for Amore? ARMM DepEd Regional, Division and District Offices; Agusan for Amore? Maguindanao; Cotabato City del Sur, Maguindanao, Tawi-T (most often) awi All over Mindanao What are the places you frequently visited while working for Amore? What is your favorite project site? What is your favorite project site? What is your favorite project site? All project areas (including those outside Mindanao) Bongo Island Isla Verde and Tingloy Island in Batangas; Tawi-Tawi; Davao Roxas, Zamboanga del Norte: when you get to the village some hundreds of meters above sea level, you feel that What is your favorite project site? What is your most memorable experience at AMORE? you’re so close to the skies that if you reached out you The islands comprising the new municipality of Taboan-Lasa in What is your most memorable experience at AMORE? the Province of Basilan with their unspoiled beaches and extra My first encounter/meeting with MILF commanders 1) Seeing a machine gun for the first time on my way to can touch the sky. large curachas! What is the most important lesson you’ve learned here Elisa Benafin a project site in New Israel, Agusan del Sur. Military was What is your most memorable experience at AMORE? What is your most memorable experience at AMORE?Maria Isabel Navarro in AMORE? School Electrification patrolling the area following a confrontation between two Madelline Romero 1) five-hour boat ride from Zamboanga to Kahikukuk in Being confronted by an irate barangay chairman of an island Livelihood/Natural Continue helping others and Education families; 2) The beauty of corals in T awi-T and Batangas; 3) awi IEC Specialist/Manager open sea; 2) two-hour habal-habal ride to Panampalay, barangay in Basilan, who was in the company of about two Resource Management Manager The warm reception by teachers, school heads and DepEd Zamboanga del Norte David Balleza dozen armed-to-the-teeth bodyguards. He was complaining Coordinator officials, especially at the ARMM regional office 30 Yrs Old Director, Technical/ about the inclusion of his barangay in the DOE’s “energized What are your thoughts about our development efforts in Mindanao? 58 Yrs Old What is the most important lesson you’ve learned here Engineering barangays list” and therefore not in AMORE’s list of potential 38 Yrs Old What is the most important lesson you’ve learned here in Amore Staff from barangays for solar electrification in spite of the fact that it Mindanao is complicated. But I take my hats off to people in AMORE? remains without electricity service. Honestly, I cannot recall how and programs that continue to work in areas stricken by Amore Staff from AMORE? 2007-2013 Humility will take you a long way. 51 Yrs Old exactly I managed to get out of that very frightening situation. Amore Staff from disasters and conflicts. I am from Mindanao, and I believe 2008; 2010-2013 Working for development is always so much easier and 2003-2007 effective when all stakeholders – including government Current Amore Staff from What is the most important lesson you’ve learned here that, indeed, in due time it will prosper. officials – buy into the project. What are your thoughts about our development efforts Organization & Position 2004-2007; in AMORE? in Mindanao? Current Reporting officer at the 2009-2013 In development work, one must be extremely careful not to What are your thoughts about our development efforts in I feel positive with the recent signing of peace framework Organization & Position International Committee commit on something or anything that he/she cannot deliver. Mindanao? agreement. And people in communities are quite capable Food Security and of the Red Cross Current Organization If fighting stops and all resources and talent are poured into to work for their own development if they are only given Livelihoods & Position What are your thoughts about our development efforts development, development will surely be achieved. the chance and a little bit of handholding Head of Department Still w AMORE in Mindanao? ith at ACF International- There is still a long way to go for development in Mindanao. All- Afghanistan Mission in-all, this is not wasted land. In fact, there is no other way for the region to go but up. Development initiatives must be continued.