NEGROS ORIENTAL, November 5, 2018 – Eight schools from the Department of Education (DepEd)-Division of Negros Oriental now enjoy electricity through the School Electrification Program (SEP) of One Meralco Foundation.

The ceremonial turn-over of the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System, Multimedia Equipment and Energy Education Flash Cards was held on August 26, at the DepEd Region VII-Sub Regional Office in Dumaguete City.

The SEP aims to energize public schools in very remote islands and mountain areas in the country in the hope of improving the learning experience of students in off-grid schools. This project is a flagship education program outside the Meralco franchise area.

Each of the eight schools received a multimedia package, which consists of a 49-inch LED TV, a laptop computer, and a printer-scanner, donated by employees of Meralco through their organization called Employees’ Fund for Charity, Inc. (MEFCI).

The newly energized schools are: Apo Elementary School in Dauin; Bago-bago Elementary School, Kanggabok Elementary School, Pedro R. Abul Memorial High School and San Isidro Elementary School in Santa Catalina; Salingkubong Elementary School and Nawacat Elementary School in Siaton; and Palay Elementary School in Manjuyod.

In her speech, DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones stated that education cannot move without light and electricity: “We have ambitions towards 21st century education skills which will allow the graduates of our senior high school to either enter university or proceed to college or enter the world or work. Therefore, they have to be proficient in science and technology, and also in culture, music, and history. That cannot be achieved without the blessings of electricity. If ever we will be able to do something without electricity, it will, of course, be very limited.”

She underscored that education is the foundation and the beginning of economic development, and electricity has a big role in enhancing and speeding up the development process.

Moreover, Briones expressed her gratitude to One Meralco for all its efforts in making electricity available to schools and for the multimedia package given by their employees.

Meanwhile, Region VII Director Juliet Jeruta thanked the OMF for supporting the areas that still lack electrification and for the provision of services and multimedia equipment.

Energy Education Flash Cards
In addition to the schools that received SEP and multimedia equipment, six elementary schools and six secondary schools received the Energy Education Flash Cards authored by 37 public school teachers from across the country under the supervision of the Coalition of Better Education (CBE) and DepEd. The Energy Ed Kit is a 200-piece flashcard package focused on energy-related topics that the public school teachers can use.

Jeffrey Tarayao, President of One Meralco Foundation and Chief Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Officer of Meralco, mentioned that 223 schools are already energized using solar power, and the flash cards have been distributed to 895 public schools and are being used by 504,885 learners.

Based on the impact assessment conducted by the University of the Philippines-Public
Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation, the three very important effects of the electrification program include the increased learning gains and productivity of teachers, and drawing more development opportunities.

Present in the turn-over ceremony were Meralco representatives, DepEd regional and division officials, school heads, teachers, parents, learners, local executives, Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) officials, and other stakeholders.