SOLARES Project Orientation, MOA/MOU Signing and Project Inception/Planning Workshop

As part of the preparatory activities and to establish a common understanding and commitment from project partners and beneficiaries, the EU-funded SOLARES project conducted a Project Orientation and MOA/MOU Signing on May 30, 2019 held at Avior Hotel, Santiago Blvd., General Santos City. The event was graced by key actors in the energy sector (Dole Philippines, Inc., Peace and Equity Foundation, Inc., SUKELCO, SOCOTECO II) and the Microfinance Institutions (PAMULCO, KIMEMCO, KPS-Seed MFI, Sta. Cruz MPC, Bacbacan MPC). Over 100 participants were present including Brgy. Captains and top officials & representatives from partner LGUs and Brgys. in Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani areas.

The activity was an avenue to update the project partners/beneficiaries on the status/progress of the project especially on some changes of the project proposal and budget (i.e. change in SHS technical design/specs, project sites, implementation arrangements, etc.).  The program preliminaries included the project overview presentation delivered by the SOLARES Project Manager Mr. Jobe C. Tubigon and messages of support from key stakeholders and partners. Governor Steve Chlongbian-Solon of Sarangani Province also graced the event and verbalized his commitment and support for the implementation of the project.

The ceremonious signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)/Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) followed afterwards which aims to gain/secure commitment from project partners and to ensure effective and sustainable implementation of the project. The signatories were Dolefil’s VP & Managing Director Mr. Randy Fleming, PEF Executive Director Mr. Robert Calingo, Mahintana President & CEO Mr. Martiniano Magdolot, SUKELCO BOD President Mr. David Batayola & SOCOTECO II BOD President Mr. Jose Santos. This intimate gathering ended with a brief networking and socialization among the guests and participants.

The Project Orientation also consist of a 2-day Project Inception/Planning Workshop on May 30-31, 2019, held right after the MOA/MOU Signing event. The workshop brought together the SOLARES project management/implementation team from Mahintana and PEF together with ECs SUKELCO & SOCOTECO 2 and five (5) Microfinance Institutions represented by their Chairperson, Manager and Bookkeeper/Finance Officer to further discuss about the project deliverables and expected outcomes.

More specifically, the workshop provided an opportunity for all potential partners to review & assess project timelines of the planned activities, especially on the technical design, implementation arrangements and strategies on SHS eletrification and livelihood components and to develop an action plan for the key activities.

SOLARES ODK Profiling of potential Member-Consumers in Maasim, Sarangani

As part of the EU-funded SOLARES project’s social preparation, a survey/profiling for each of the 5,000 off-grid households in 50 target barangays shall be conducted to validate and establish the individual socio-economic profile, the willingness to participate in the project, and capacity to pay of the potential household beneficiaries. The survey results will serve as baselines to measure future project impact at the household/community level and to help determine/map out the actual location/coordinates of the potential household beneficiaries.

On May 2-14, 2019, the SOLARES project team conducted the ODK profiling in its target benefeciaries in 11 Brgys. in Maasim, Sarangani Province namely: (a) Kablacan; (b) Bales; (c) Lumasal; (d) Amsipit; (e) Kamanga; (f) Daliao; (g) Kanalo; (h) Pananag; (I) Lumatil; (j) Colon; and (k) Nomoh.

Prior the actual profiling, the project team together with nine (9) enumerators conduct Brgy. Courtesy Calls to the Sitio/Purok Leaders to inform them of the purpose of the activity & to allow the team to conduct profiling. Every enumerator received an umbrella and powerbank which they can use as they will be profiling scattered or distant households using android tablets.

The enumerators were residents in Maasim, Sarangani and were all familiar with the local conditions, the people, and cultural sensitivities of the target areas. For 13 consecutive days, they were able to endure the scorching heat and trekked arduous areas, typically on foot & motorcycle and profiled a total of 733 households. Please refer to the table below for the total number of of households profiled per Barangay.

Name of BarangayTotal # of Households Profiled
Kablcan144
Bales 127
Lumasal 119
Amsipit78
Kamanga71
Daliao51
Kanalo26
Pananag23
Lumatil16
Colon1
Nomoh 77
TOTAL733

SOLARES Consultation Meeting with SUKELCO, SOCOTECO II & Dole Philippines, Inc.

To ensure that the Solar Home System (SHS) technical design and other implementation/procurement arrangements will be effectively and efficiently carried out, the Strengthening Off-grid Lighting with Appropriate Renewable Energy Solutions (SOLARES) project facilitated a Consultation Meeting on May 3, 2019 held at Dole Kalsangi Clubhouse, Polomolok, South Cotabato. In attendance were members/management staff from Electric Coops’ SUKELCO and SOCOTECO II. Also present were Dolefil’s Directors Atty. Renato N. Alvarez and Mr. Yohei Kagikawa and DPO Manager Wilson A. Peria.  Mahintana sought the expertise of the ECs as they have experiences in implementing ASEP’s PVM Window 1 Project.

Project Manager Jobe C. Tubigon presented the SOLARES project overview, objectives, expected impact & outcomes, the SHS package and Procurement and installation timeline. His presentation also included the composition and functions of different groups such as the Technical Working Group, Technical & Financial team and the Advisory group. Additional members were added to ensure that the preparation, review & evaluation of bid documents will be in accordance to EU’s procurement standards and requirements.

The demonstration of the SHS technical specifications followed afterwards. Engr. Jay Amiel Ajoc explained the system functions, battery capacity and the load vending management scheme.

Currently, the project is conducting profiling, validation and social marketing while waiting for EU’s approval of the amendments of the contract particularly on change of SHS technical design/specs, project sites, and budget reallocation. Once approved, the posting/publication of bidding documents will follow. The group were able to share their suggestions and views to ensure that the right implementation/procurement arrangements & mechanisms will be applied.

Mahintana Foundation, Inc. in partnership with Peace and Equity Foundation, Electric Coops’ SUKELCO and SOCOTECO II is implementing the EU-funded SOLARES project for 3 years.