By Maria Teresa B. Benas
MALIBCONG, Abra, June 3 (PIA) — An automatic voltage regulator (AVR) and a total of 100 units of kilowatt hour meter (kWh meter) were turned-over to the people of this town’s upland Barangay Gacab by the Affiliated Renewable Energy Cernter (AREC) at the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Batac City, Ilocos Norte on May 27.
The devices were formally turned-over by Dr. Miriam Pascua, President of MMSU, and the AREC staff headed by Project Manager Dr. Carmelo Esteban to the people of Malibcong represented by Mayor Benido Bacuyag in a ceremony attended by Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Loreta G. Ayson.
In his message, Bacuyag said that they took the challenge of the MMSU President to make use of the opportunity of having the hydro-electric facility to create livelihood in their municipality and produce things that they can call their own of which they could be proud of.
Bacuyag expressed gratefulness to the DOE and the MMSU for their development endeavors in his municipality.
The devices, which are now being installed in the project site in Malibcong by a team led by Prof. Ruben J. Dabalos, are intended to upgrade the micro-hydro system of the Gacab (Banagan) Micro-hydroelectric System in the off-grid area Barangay Gacab, and help the Banagan Service Cooperative in the collection of monthly bills.
The system upgrading of micro-hydro facilities in Abra is one of the projects of the AREC that is part of the Phase III of the DOE-funded Gender Mainstreaming and Sensitivity Holistic Advocacy for the Renewable Energy Development.
In 2011, the AREC of the MMSU conducted a study in the upland municipalities of Abra that are using renewable energies and one of the recommendations identified by the people in the communities was the upgrading of their micro-hydroelectric systems in order to improve efficiency and the collection of bills.
The study was aimed to establish a Gender Map for the Renewable Energy Sector in Northern Philippines.
Abra was identified as one of the project sites because many of its off-grid municipalities are using renewable energy systems such as the solar and micro-hydro systems to generate electricity. (JDP/MTBB- PIA CAR, Abra)#