AESIEAP School Electrification Initiative
Power industry leaders joined hands to bring sustainable electricity and learning technology to far-flung communities.
More than a thousand public schools in some of the farthest island and mountain communities in the Philippines remain without access to power. Situated mostly hundreds of kilometers from the grid, energizing these schools and the communities around them is a tough challenge.
Consequently, students and teachers in these schools aren’t able to enjoy the benefits of electricity experienced by the rest of the energized world. Without power, teachers are stuck with traditional pedagogy, while students do not have first-hand experience with technology, unable to develop the skills necessary to prepare them for the 21st Century workplace.
This technological divide inspired the school electrification program of One Meralco Foundation (OMF), the corporate social development arm of the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO). It seeks to power up off-grid schools through solar photovoltaic (PV) technology.
Starting in 2011 with six pilot schools on Verde Island, Batangas, the program has since expanded far and beyond Meralco’s electric distribution area. By the end of 2018, it has installed up to 2-kilowatt peak solar PV systems in 225 schools nationwide.
As advocacy partner for the AESIEAP CEO Conference 2019 in the Philippines, One Meralco Foundation opened an opportunity for AESIEAP members to take part in its advocacy. It launched a campaign to raise funds to energize at least six (6) more schools. As of press time, the foundation has already received more than USD40,000.00 worth of donations and pledges from 11 companies. This will benefit at least 10 schools, some of which have already begun their journey towards an energized future.
In recognition of the valuable contribution of its donors, a lighting ceremony was held during the closing program of the conference. Representatives from participating companies joined the beneficiaries (teachers and students) on stage to ceremonially “switch on” the partnership that will finally bring electricity and technology to their schools.
One Meralco Foundation remains committed to helping ensure that no Filipino child is left in the dark. It also keeps its doors open to those who might want to share the mission of “spreading the light” to communities that need it the most.
To find out more about the school electrification program or to express your support by making a pledge/donation, visit the One Meralco Foundation website at www.onemeralcofoundation.org/aesieap2019.