I. PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The project involves the installation of solar home system (SHS) in households located in the far flung areas of North Cotabato, within the franchise area of COTELCO, that are not connected to the existing distribution lines. These areas cover Kidapawan City and the municipalities Kabacan, Carmen, Banisilan, M’lang, Tulunan, Matalam, Magpet, Antipas, Arakan, President Roxas and Makilala (11 Municipalities & 1 City).
The 50Watt peak SHS is designed to supply power for household lighting purposes only. The main components of the project are System Box (controller) which will also serve as a battery where the solar energy is stored and placed inside the house and a Photovoltaic Panel which will be fitted at the roof in northerly, easterly or westerly direction. The main components also include 1 pc. (1 watt), 2 pcs. (2 watts), and 1 pc. (3 watts) Bulbs for household lighting, a Torch, USB Charger, and a Transistor Radio.
II. SOCIAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
The COTELCO’s PVM Window 2 project aims to help achieve the Philippine Government’s goal in realizing Total Electrification of the countryside. Many of the beneficiaries of the SHS to be installed under this project belong to the IP groups living in the hinterlands of North Cotabato namely, Bagobo/Manobo, and Blaan.
Based on the prior consultation, the effect to the communities of IP is significant, for they will be provided with lights that could help them in their security during the night and it will be a great tool in the studies of their children. This project gives hope because their place will be lighted and they will never be living in the depths of darkness.
COTELCO at all times respect the rights of the IPs by discouraging the possibilities of cutting of trees. Through this project the IPs receive culturally appropriate benefit of light. It ensures also the benefit of the Barangay by sharing at least 20 PESOS per load of the project’s income. To this effect, the IP communities constructively enjoy the benefit granted to the Barangay in which they belong.
III. INFORMATION DISCLOSURE
The core purpose of this project is to provide electricity to every household by using the Solar Energy. Prior to the installation, all the potential beneficiaries are invited to attend to a Pre-membership education Seminar (PMES). The same is a consensus of all members of an IP community to be determined in accordance with their respective customary laws and practices, free from any external manipulation, interference and coercion, and obtained after fully disclosing the intent and scope of the activity, in a language and process understandable to the community. It was in the best effort of the cooperative to that every recipient will have a clear understanding on the purpose of the project and it was fully inculcated unto them their responsibilities in sustaining the project. Information drives such as PMES (Pre-membership Education Seminar) paves a way in achieving this.
IV. BENEFICIAL MEASURES
Social and economic benefit is received by every individual member-consumer until the Solar Home System is perfectly installed in their respective household by enjoying the luminance of their environment. This is also the time that the beneficiaries are becoming a member of the cooperative of COTELCO most likely to receive the same benefit waiting to the members in the grid area.
V. MITIGATION MEASURES
The installation of the Solar Home System should be understood plainly by the IP communities. The installers should observe CORRECT disposal of theirs wastes, if any,
During the installation and prevent the cutting of trees as much as it is possible. COTELCO shall coordinate with the IP Leaders and Barangay officials prior to conduct of project-related activities within the IP communities. It shall ensure that all workers involved in the conduct of information drives and SHS installation and maintenance of the SHS shall give due respect to the IPs, and all activities will be carried out in accordance with the tribal culture, practices and traditions. Health protocols shall be strictly observed to protect the communities, as well as the project workers, from Covid 19 virus.
VI. GRIEVANCE REDRESS MECHANISM
Should the IPs have any complaint/concern related to the ASEP-PVM project, they may contact COTELCO through telephone no. 09209011161, social media (Messenger), or file it personally at the COTELCO Office in Barangay Manubuan, Matalam North Cotabato. The IP complainant may also opt to file the grievance through the Barangay Captain and their tribal leaders, have it resolved through customary laws. Whichever is the method of filing and resolving the grievance, COTELCO shall ensure that the process will be culturally appropriate and gender responsive. The grievance will be properly documented, evaluated, and promptly resolved.
VII. INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENT
COTELCO encourages the participation of IPs in the project areas, to ensure their equalities together with all project benefits, activities and trainings and to avoid or mitigate any adverse impacts on the IPs. It is the ECs responsibility to observe safe and sound installation of the SHS and ensure that the installers are equipped with all the necessary measures to observe the Indigenous Peoples Plan.