TFP2K meets for master planning

Mahintana hosted the Task Force Polomolok Kalikasan at Kaligtasan (TFP2K) Flood Risk Management (FRM) Technical Team and Master Plan meeting at Mahintana Foundation, Inc., Cannery Housing, Brgy. Cannery Site, Polomolok on February 7, 2020.

The meeting aims to formulate flood mitigating measures as well as discuss the direction of the task force based on the agreed master plan. The said activity was participated by Municipal Planning and Development Officer Mr. Eronio Muno, Engr. Danny Pelias, EnP, Dolefil Community Relations Department (DCRD) Manager Ms. Leamor Bañaga, DCRD South Zone Supervisor Mr. Evren Managuit, Dolefil Soil Conservation Department/North Zone Manager Mr. Rowen Lacanaria, Dolefil Soil Conservation Department/South Zone Manager Mr. Danny Dagooc.

LGU Malungon and KDFI benchmark R2R Projects

The Ridge-to-Reef Project, under the environmental program of Mahintana, facilitated the benchmarking activity of LGU Malungon and Kasilak Development Foundation Inc. (KDFI) at Field 109A/C Gullies, Cannery Community Nursery, Bamboo House, Brgy. Cannery Site, Polomolok on February 6, 2020. The LGU Malungon, in partnership with KDFI, intends to replicate the environmental initiatives in their municipality.

The next steps are the coordination meeting to decide what intervention the LGU will adopt and presentation to the Malungon municipal mayor for review and finalization of plan.

People in Need Philippines (PIN) Benchmarks SOLARES & ASEP-PVM Window 1 Projects

As one of the seven (7) awardees &/or implementers of EU ASEP-CfP, the People in Need Philippines (PIN), together with its partner Entrepreneurs du Monde, benchmarked SOLARES & ASEP-PVM Window 1 projects (under SOCOTECO II) on 3 February 2020 for a learning exchanges on project operations, financial and procurement, especially approaches to off-grid lighting solutions and livelihood support (RE or agri-based).

Upon coordination with SOCOTECO II, PVM-W1 Site Sitio New Antique was the area being visited. Along with 4 other colleagues, Mr. Diosdado Mendoza, PIN Project Manager, visited and interviewed several beneficiaries of the Window 1 PVM Site. SOCOTECO II and SOLARES project team assisted the PIN team to the site.

Ms. Khristin Hunter, Mr. Karol Skalowski, and Mr. Mendoza took turns interviewing the residents of New Antique regarding their experience with the Solar Home System (SHS) Units of the Window 1 PVM. A few residents welcomed the team into their home and shared about using the unit for 2 years. They were thankful and noticed how they could use power for 24 hours compared to using kerosene, and mentioned their children could study and do homework in the evening. New Antique sitio leader also shared the differences in experiences and preferences of residents. She herself used personal solar equipment for power like others; she did not answer on behalf of the community, instead recognized it was up to the residents whether they wanted to avail. She added if there were another project that would open to avail SHS units, she is positive there would some who would request to be included.

The PIN team went around the sitio before proceeding to another venue for a brief exchange of experience over coffee and snacks. Ms. Hunter and Mr. Skalowski gave their questions to SOCOTECO II, Mr. John Tindoy and Mr. Angelico Boiser. Their queries revolved around the system and process used by SOCOTECO II other queries related to their line of work and experience.

For the livelihood component of the project, Mr. Mendoza, Ms. Hunter, and Mr. Skalowski openly asked regarding the arrangement between the project and Peace and Equity Foundation from Mr. Stefan Babera, PEF project officer. Mr. Babera shared the process of how PEF assisted microfinance institutions, people organizations, and associations included in SOLARES.

The exchange continued at General Santos City wherein Mr. Jobe Tubigon, SOLARES project manager properly introduced the SOLARES project to PIN, along with Mr. Martiniano Magdolot, project director, and Ms. Liza Hora, admin and finance officer. The PIN team was able to expand their queries on specifics on the project, such as database, process of data collection, electric coops participation, sustainability, co-financing, beneficiaries, and updates on SOLARES.

The PIN team expressed their gratitude towards SOLARES project staff and Mahintana Foundation, Inc., for the learning experience and prompt, useful advice for their approach to the REACH project.

Other than their visit with the SOLARES & SOCOTECO II Projects, PIN is set to visit DASURECO’s franchise areas in Brgy. Baluntaya, Don Marcelino and Brgy. Little Baguio, Malita, Davao Occidental for the Productive Use of Renewable Energy (PURE) technologies.

MFI benchmarks bamboo hub

In its goal to make sustainable livelihood and homes for the communities, Mahintana Foundation Inc. benchmarked the proposed bamboo hub at the Municipal Tourism Office (MTO) and Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) in Tampakan, South Cotabato on February 4, 2020. Project Officer Mr. Luwee Roy Siacor also visited the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) and South Cotabato Economic and Investment Promotion Center (SCEIPC), South Cotabato to learn about the bamboo-based programs and projects that they developed. Mahintana is set to submit a project proposal to the technical working group of the engineered bamboo of South Cotabato Province on the 10th of February to access needed assistance from the said group.

Mahintana formulated its own sustainability plan employing the bamboo production (i.e., engineered bamboo and bamboo crafts) in its livelihood and social enterprise program. The bamboo production aims to not only help the communities build sustainable, affordable homes and earn a livelihood, but also, conserve and protect the environment through bamboo farming.

SOLARES conducts Factory Acceptance Test Training

Part of the SOLARES Project bidding and procurement process is the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) and before the contract signing, a successful conduct of FAT must take place first. For a successful FAT, it is important that the project’s FAT team is equipped with technical know-how on how FAT is done. To do this, the SOLARES project requested the technical assistance of ASEP-TA/GIZ, through Mr. David Balleza as technical consultant, for the FAT training and actual conduct of FAT.

The FAT training was aimed at equipping the FAT team/TWG on how to conduct FAT, especially in preparation of actual conduct of FAT in China. The 5-member FAT team is composed of key technical persons from SOCOTECO II (1), SUKELCO (1), Mahintana (2) and ASEP-TA/GIZ (1). Aside from the FAT team, the training was also participated by the key project staff of the SOLARES project as part of building local capacities in FAT, PSI, O&M and other related activities. The 2-day activity was conducted on 30-31 January 2020 at Q CitiPark Hotel, General Santos City with Mr. Balleza of ASEP-TA/GIZ as technical resource person given his experience and expertise in solar/renewable energy.

Key results of the training include sharing and demonstrating the FAT process, protocol, steps, test procedures and FAT requirements per major Solar Home System (SHS) component – the device under inspection (DUI). During demo, visual screening as part of the test procedure was conducted on PV module, battery and battery management system, charge controller, LED lamps, and vending machine/management system (VMS) of the sample SHS unit of PVM Window 1. The demo was based on the draft FAT manual/ guidelines designed by the project (part of the bid documents). Accomplishing sample FAT forms and report by the FAT team was also part of the key results.

Meanwhile, the actual conduct of FAT which was originally scheduled on 10-15 February 2020 in China was postponed due to travel restrictions brought about by the novel Corona virus outbreak.