The Stone Dike Technology: Innovation that Helps Mitigate Soil Erosion in the Gullies

Mahintana Foundation, Inc., continues to think outside the box in the conservation, preservation and protection of the environment particularly around the Mt. Matutum Protective Landscape (MMPL). To mitigate the soil erosion that usually occur in the plantation gullies, the organization innovated a technology that uses indigenous materials found in the locality such as large rocks, used fishnets from the fishing industries in General Santos City, and malabago trees, thus, the birth of the stone dike technology. The technology was purposely constructed in scoured gully banks to prevent their further damage.

The ceremonial construction of the stone dike was conducted on August 10, 2018 at Gully 116A/101C, Upper Klinan, Polomolok, South Cotabato as one of the activities of the 41st anniversary celebration of Mahintana and SRC. From its construction to present, the stone dikes were able to allow sedimentation that increased the vegetation around the dikes and stabilized the gully banks by protecting them from further scouring. Other stone dikes were constructed in 110A/109C Cannery and 113C/112B/113B Polo.

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.

SOLARES conducts Project Orientation and Consultation Meeting with the Local MFIs

On April 24, 2019, the Strengthening Off-grid Lighting with Appropriate Renewable Energy Solutions (SOLARES) project team facilitated a Consultation Meeting/Project Orientation together with local Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)held at Dolefil Kalsangi Clubhouse, Polomolok, South Cotabato. Representatives from five (5) MFIs namely: (1) KPS-SEED; (2) MDFI; (3) Sta. Cruz MPC; (4) KIMEMCO; and (5) Bacbacan MPC were in attendance. The purpose of the activity was to present the project overview and opportunities for future partnership and to gain the full support and engagement of the local MFIs.

Through Skype video conferencing, Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) Project Coordinator Ms. Shunie Pearl Palacion, shared about PEF’s history and overview as a development financing organization engaged in the promotion and development of social enterprises. She also talked about partnership guidelines & requirements and answered the queries and concerns of the attendees. SOLARES Project Manager presented the SOLARES project overview/framework, Solar Home System technical design/specs, operational flowchart, and project management and implementation plan. He emphasized that the MFI’s role to provide access to livelihood support to household beneficiaries of the project to help improve their income opportunities and capacity to pay for the maintenance fees of SHS systems. 

Project Officer Engr. Jose Jerry Tayactac initiated the demonstration of the Solar Home System (SHS) and explained the basic operation/installation process and explained in detail the charging process, battery capacity, prepaid loading system and the maintenance of the SHS unit.

SOLARES Team attends the Solar PV Mainstreaming Project Joint Meeting

The SOLARES project staff headed by Mr. Jobe C. Tubigon, Project Manager, participated in the Solar PV Mainstreaming Project Joint Meeting/Window 2 Design Workshop held at Socoteco II Seminar Hall in General Santos City on February 26, 2019. The purpose of the workshop was to review the Solar Home System (SHS) or Photovoltaic (PV) Mainstreaming Window I implementation experience in Mindanao and identify lessons learned to simplify and improve SHS Window II implementation. PV Mainstreaming is a Department of Energy (DoE) initiative, supported by the World Bank’s Access to Sustainable Energy in the Philippines (ASEP) Programme.

Electric Cooperatives (ECs) presented their Window I experiences on the preparation, procurement, marketing, installation & verification phases. The group were also able to brainstorm together and complement actions to improve its mechanics for Window II.  It was also an opportunity for Mahintana to harmonize the SHS technical design/specifications, the target areas and sustainability mechanisms of PVM with the SOLARES project.

World Bank Consultant Mr. Ian Driscall presented the Renewable Energy for Rural Electrification (RE4RE) system, a GIS platform developed to strengthen the impact of electrification projects fostering access to electrical services. The platform makes information available to aid in decision making on energy-related projects and monitoring the progress of ongoing projects.

The attendees were key staff and officers from different Electric Coops (ECs) namely: SUKELCO, FIBECO, COTELCO, Socoteco II, DASURECO and BUSECO. Also present were representatives from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Yamog organization, National Electrification Administration (NEA) and Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF).

SOLARES Project facilitated Meeting with DoE, World Bank and EU Delegation

Strengthening Off-grid Lighting with Appropriate Renewable Energy Solutions (SOLARES) Project, a 3-year EU-funded project in partnership with Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), facilitated the Coordination and Harmonization Meeting held at Hotel Esse, Davao City on February 21, 2019. Among the attendees are Ms. Carol Maningo from EU Delegation, Mr. Ian Driscall from World Bank, Mr. Douglas Liner from the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ASEP) and Ms. Shunie Pearl Palacios from PEF. Also present were representatives and management staff from the Department of Energy (DoE), MINDA, SUKELCO and SURECO. The meeting was an avenue for stakeholders to share solar-related project experiences and for Mahintana to harmonize initiatives to implement SOLARES Project successfully.

SOLARES Project Manager Mr. Jobe C. Tubigon presented the target areas and beneficiaries, the project framework, the solar home system (SHS) design options, and the project implementation plan. Discussions included concerns such as the target areas’ accessibility, the SHS specification options, the livelihood programs, electrification, the procurement processes, the installation of the solar load vending stations, and the sustainability of the project. With the inputs given by the group, Mahintana noted replicable existing systems and will consult EU for major amendments in the project concept. EU Programme Officer Ms. Carol Maningo stated that the project may be overwhelming, yet, it can be beneficial to Mahintana, and the partners, esp. the beneficiaries. DoE Director Mr. Mario Marasigan encouraged the body to work together for the total electrification of the off-grid in Region 12 and ARMM through the provision of SHS.

Mahintana orients and signs MOA with the Barangay Bantay Gully Task Force

Mahintana, in partnership with LGU Polomolok, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO)-Polomolok, Municipal Police Station – Polomolok (PMPS) and partner BLGUs (Landan, Cannery Site, Kinilis, Maligo, Lamcaliaf, Polo, Upper Klinan, and Pobalcion) , conducted a Barangay Bantay Gully Task Force Orientation, MOA Signing and Planning was held on February 13, 2019 at Esma Restaurant, Brgy. Cannery Site, Polomolok.

The BBGTF aims to protect and preserve the gully’s natural resources, to promote and improve the social and economic well-being of the Brgy. Bantay Gully Task Force members and to develop their skills and capabilities. The Task Force Bantay Gully shall serve as an extension of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Enforcers (MENREs) on the gullies/dry creeks. It was agreed that a schedule will be set for monitoring and ODK Training and capacity building of BBGTF per partner barangay.

UEWMPC Celebrates its 27th Anniversary through a Tree Growing Activity

In celebration of the Unified Engineering Workers MPC (UEWMPC) 27th Anniversary with the theme “Save a Tree, Plant a Tree and Grow a Tree: For a Cleaner, Greener and Healthier Community”, UEWMPC held a tree growing activity at 108F Field gully, Brgy. Maligo, Polomolok, South Cotabato on February 2, 2019. A total of 500 hills of Bamboo and assorted forest and fruit trees were planted along the field gully and at the perimeter area of the hill beside the gully. 250 bayug bamboo  were planted at the barren area at least 5 meters away from the gully bank while the forest and fruit trees (acle, hagakhak and guyabano) were planted at the perimeter area of the compound. Monthly maintenance will be conducted by the coop’s assigned personnel.

Mahintana Presents the SOLARES Project during the Official Launch of Grants Awarded under EU-ASEP Call for Proposals

As one of the seven grant awardees of the European Union Access to Sustainable Energy in the Philippines (EU-ASEP) Call for Proposals (CfP), Mahintana Foundation, Inc., presented the SOLARES Project during the official launching of the grants awarded under EU-ASEP CfP on January 30, 2019 at Waterfront Insular Hotel, Davao City. Mr. Martiniano L. Magdolot, President & CEO, Mr. Jobe C. Tubigon, Program Manager, and Mr. Roel Ian Blanker, Project Manager, represented Mahintana during the event. Mr. Jobe C Tubigon presented the SOLARES project on behalf of Mahintana.

Prior to the presentation of grant awards, Asec. Redentor E. Delola of the Department of Energy (DOE), provided the welcome remarks during the opening session. He thanked EU for its support to renewable energy through ASEP which has become a vital partner of DOE to attain its goal of 100% electrification by 2022. Mr. Enrico Strampelli, Head of the Development Cooperation of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, shared a message of support on behalf of the EU delegation. He said there were at least 73 applications in the competitive EU-ASEP Call for Proposals which had proposed sustainable renewable energy solutions in the remote areas of the Philippines, particularly Mindanao. Of the 73 applications, only 7 were selected based on their feasibility and sustainability mechanisms.  Mr. Willy Hick, Programme Office, Development Cooperation Section, EU Delegation to the Philippines, provided the overview of EU-ASEP Program. He shared that when you have a partner like DOE that speaks with so much enthusiasm and commitment in the ASEP program – that’s the EU wants in all their development programs. After the overview, each of the 6 Projects awarded under the EU-ASEP CfP were presented. After the presentations of the awarded projects, Asec. Romeo Montenegro, Deputy Executive Director, MINDA, shared the updates on the Mindanao Power Development Program including the Mindanao Power Outlook.

In the morning session, Mahintana also participated in the consultation and validation workshop on the program framework for Sustaining Peace and Accelerating Socio-economic Development in Mindanao.

BLGU San Isidro conducts Tree Growing with Mahintana

As part of their humanitarian services and environmental awareness campaign, the BLGU – San Isidro, conducted a tree growing activity in partnership with Mahintana Foundation, Inc. at Prk. Lower Matibay Riverside, Brgy. San Isidro, General Santos City on January 29, 2019. A total of 1,000 bamboo hills were planted at the mentioned site. 25 participants from Integrated Barangay Affairs (IBA), 4Ps beneficiaries, BLGU – San Isidro staffs, and Drug Surrenderees enjoined the said activity. BLGU San Isidro have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the quarry operators in the vicinity to take part in the maintenance of their adopted area periodically and report to MFI the status of the plants.

FMRC Chapters Conduct Tree Growing

As part of their humanitarian services and environmental awareness campaign, the Family Mix Rider Club (FMRC) – Polomolok, Koronadal City, and General Santos City Chapters, conducted a tree growing activity in partnership with Mahintana Foundation, Inc. at Riverside, Prk. Dignadice, Brgy. Poblacion, Polomolok, on January 27, 2019. A total of 100 bamboo hills were planted at the mentioned site. 26 FMRC members from the three chapters participated the activity. FMRC agreed to designate a monitoring team to maintain their adopted area periodically and report to MFI the status of the plants.