The Agriculture and Livelihood Electrification Project, featuring a 5.4-megawatt solar power system, has been officially transferred to the Lundag Eskaya Tribe Multi-purpose Cooperative (LETMULCO) by the One Meralco Foundation (OMF), represented by its Executive Director, Jeffrey Tarayao. This solar power project will enable LETMULCO to power their machinery for processing camote and bananas, enhancing their livelihood opportunities.
The handover ceremony was attended by Mayor Wilson Pajo, Captain Edilio Balaba Sr. of Lundag, LETMULCO officials led by Chairman Apolonio Bia Jr., and members of the project. This initiative ensures that LETMULCO can continue its food processing operations even during power outages.
LETMULCO, comprised of Eskaya community members, aims to diversify their livelihoods to reduce reliance on the forest and promote sustainable living. They were one of the seven barangays in Pilar involved in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Integrated Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP), which focuses on forest restoration and community development.
Under INREMP, LETMULCO planted trees in their forest areas and received support from the government, including farm-to-market roads and a food processing building equipped with electric-powered machinery, like banana chip and shredding machines.
However, their livelihood was disrupted by Typhoon Odette, which damaged their processing shed and caused a prolonged power outage. In response, OMF, through its 1 for Trees project, provided solar power electrification to LETMULCO, enabling them to utilize their machinery even during brownouts.
OMF, committed to planting trees in disaster-prone communities, recognized LETMULCO’s electricity-related challenge and took action to support their livelihood. With solar panels installed on the Covered Court in the Barangay and an electrical connection to the processing shed, LETMULCO can now continue their camote and banana chip processing operations seamlessly.
Mayor Pajo expressed gratitude to OMF and PROCESS Bohol, the implementing NGO, for their support and requested increased assistance from OMF for his town’s development.