More upland barangays, urban settlements lighted
Davao City (21 April) -- Wherever the direction of the government's development thrust moves, Davao Light and Power Company goes with it. Whether the route is the most rugged leading to the remotest of the uplands, or in the denseness of the blighted areas of urban settlements, the power firm is wont to follow.
This level of partnership in bringing development was again demonstrated when over the last two weeks, the Aboitiz-owned electric utility energized two urban settlements adjacent two housing subdivisions in the city proper, two mountain barangays, and one upland village.
Last April 12, permanent electric service was made available to close to a hundred households in an urban settlers' area at the back of Gem Village in Maa, roughly five kilometers from the city's downtown. The agglomeration of houses were for several years dependent on the prohibited “flying connections” by some scheming house owners nearby who charge the settlers exorbitant fees.
The delivery of electric service would have been much easier for Davao Light. However, the situation of the settlers' area would not just make it easily possible. Firstly, the area occupied by the urban settlers belongs to a private person. Moreover, access towards the area passes through the privately developed residential subdivision. Thus, it took sometime - and with the help of the Office of First District Congressman Prospero Nograles - before the settlers were able to get approval for the right of way, and the agreement by the landowner to sell his property to the present occupants.
The same condition holds true in Purok 24 along Times beach in Barangay Bucana. The place alone accounts for about three hundred households who, until April 18, were either totally without electricity, or again, dependent on the very risky flying connection service by some unscrupulous individuals. With permanent electricity made available by Davao Light, what is left now for the settlers in Purok 24 is to procure the requirements in applying for a permanent electric connection.
Meanwhile, in the uplands of Panalum, Paquibato District, barangay residents got their feel of electric service when Davao Light, in cooperation with the Office of Second District Congressman Vincent Garcia, energized its lines last April 14.Panalum can only be reached using heavy-duty vehicles in about two hours travel from the city through rough and steadily climbing roads. This condition, however, did not hinder Davao Light to work side by side with Congressman Garcia in fulfilling the dream of Panalum residents to have electricity in their own houses.
On Monday, April 17, Davao Light also energized a sitio in the highlands of Tamayong in Calinan District benefiting roughly a hundred households. The rural electrification project cost was realized through the initiative of 3rd district councilor Rene Elias Lopez.
The latest of rural electrification projects to be completed and energized is that of Malabog also in Paquibato District. Done in three stages, the final phase covers Malabog proper, from the Roman Catholic Church site. Power was switched on last April 18 at noon time. Doing the switching were second district congressman Garcia, Davao Light managers, and some local officials.
Like Panalum, Malabog is also a two-hour ride from the city poblacion through rough and rugged roads. People in the area sell their farm produce mostly in Panabo City or Lasang in Davao City. It is a community with a district hospital, a parish church, and one public high school.
Every year, Davao Light sets aside a budget intended for rural electrification projects. This is a component of the company's social responsibility (CSR) program. The areas to be energized, however, are jointly determined by local, congressional, and company officials since, where conditions demand, counterpart funds may be required from the government to fully implement the projects. (DLPC) [top]