PHILIPPINES, Barangay Manamoc, Municipality of Cuyo, Northeastern Palawan - January 2008
Solar power supply systems for schools and health centers in support of a 267-acre marine protected area
The island-village of Barangay Manamoc has a total land area of 1,275 acres, with about 300 households and a population of about 1,900. The primary means of livelihood in the village are fishing, seaweed cultivation and farming, though many residents are employed by a nearby resort. The villagers worked for the establishment of a 267-acre Marine Protected Area in 2002; the mean hard coral cover has since risen from 18 percent to 25 percent. In 2001 the village was finally given three diesel power generators. Operating and maintenance expenses have taken their toll in the form of reduced operating hours (five to six hours per day) and costlier electricity for the consumers, who in turn are decreasing their power consumption. The increasing cost of power makes it impossible for barangay public facilities to provide efficient and effective services to the community. In exchange for a solar power supply system to provide clean, renewable electricity to community facilities (preschool, elementary and high schools; training center; health center and barangay hall), the barangay commits to support the Marine Protected Area for 20 years.
UPDATE May 2008 - Twelve Solar Power System units were purchased and delivered between March and April 2008. As of late April, units had been installed at the Preschool, Community Training Center and at Manamoc National High School with remaining designated buildings scheduled to be completed by end of May. Andres Soriano Foundation staff and Manamoc community members worked with the solar power contractors on the installation as on the job training for future equipment repair and maintenance.
UPDATE January 2009 - In June 2008 Karen Peterson visited the site with field representative Ferdie Marcelo. All solar units were installed and connected to equipment within the buildings. As of November 2008 additional equipment was installed to alleviate an initial challenge of budgeting the operating time for computer usage compared to the power available. The MPA remains protected by the community and in late 2008 an illegally placed underwater compressor was confiscated by patrolling community members.
UPDATE June 2009 - As of April 2009 all solar units installed in the barangay continue to benefit the community. The MPA remains protected by the community and encroachers were given a warning and were required to attend an MPA orientation conducted by the barangay.
UPDATE December 2009 - As of December 2009 Ferdie Marcelo reports that though coral was affected by a crown of thorns outbreak in the Cuyo group of islands last year, nevertheless, fish reportedly abounds.
Indicates full or partial funding by Seacology Germany