The Philippines has a population of over 100 million. Till December 2019, there was about 1.8 million households across the country living without electricity. Most of the off-grid households are located in small islands of Visayas and far-flung mountainous villages of Mindanao. President Rodrigo Duterte started to push for the “rural electrification strategy” ambitiously in 2016, and the objective is to fulfill the “total national electrification” within his presidency till 2022.
In 2019, European Union has funded 7 projects in the central and southern part of Philippines to promote the use of renewable energy. In this batch of projects, most of the organizations who received EU funds are NGOs. Some of the 7 projects are in line with the “rural electrification program” of Department of Energy.
Mahintana Foundation Inc. is a NGO based in Polomolok City, Mindanao. MFI serves mostly the people in nearby provinces. With the EU fund, MFI initiated the “Strengthening Off-grid Lighting with Appropriate Renewable Energy Solutions (SOLARES) Project”. SOLARES Project aims to install 6,000 sets of Prepaid Solar Home System in the franchised areas of South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SOCOTECO II) and Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SUKELCO). These two ECs are also the beneficiary ECs in the World Bank ASEP Window One Project. SINOSOAR had supplied and installed 5,000 sets of Prepaid Solar Home System for these two ECs in 2018. SOLARES Project is a negotiated project between SINOSOAR and MFI to extend the solar network of the two ECs. The project will enable the two ECs to rank top among the nationwide 121 ECs which electrify off-grid population with prepaid solar home systems.