PRESS RELEASE: Lighting the path to better lives and livelihood

Manila, Philippines, April 26, 2021 – Rural communities and Indigenous Peoples (IPs) living in far-flung areas in the Philippines have long struggled with a lack of access to stable sources of power. While access to electricity sits at 98% in the national capital region, remote regions are still lagging behind. In Mindanao for example, the access rate to electricity in 2018 is only at 40.5%, hampering other resources such as clean water, quality healthcare and education.

In an effort to improve the living conditions of IPs with limited access to electricity, the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) has partnered with Signify Philippines Inc. to launch Sinag Pag-asa, which seeks to provide off-grid communities with access to solar-powered lighting. Under the new initiative, solar flood lights and portable solar lanterns will be distributed to various beneficiaries.

“Sinag Pag-asa marks a brighter start in improving the lives of our rural communities, particularly the IPs,” said ASSIST Director of Projects and Strategy Francis Macatulad. “We are grateful for our partnership with Signify Philippines Inc. in bringing solar lights and we hope this will empower and shape a better future for our IPs.”

With support from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) of Bulacan, a total of 30 solar floodlights were distributed to the Dumagat tribes in Norzagaray and Doña Remedios Trinidad in Bulacan last June 24, 2021. The Dumagats are known for their critical role as watershed protectors of the Angat Dam, one of the major reservoirs that supply water to Metro Manila and nearby provinces, as well as of other natural resources in Central and Eastern Luzon. The floodlights will be installed in tribal halls, schools, and livelihood centers and are expected to benefit 751 Dumagat families.

Through Sinag Pag-asa, ASSIST and Signify Philippines will deliver over 500 solar flood lights and 1,000 solar lanterns to IPs, barangay facilities and evacuation centers in remote provinces in the country. These solar lights will aid 35 off-grid barangays in their disaster response and help contribute to achieving 100% electrification by 2030.

For partnerships and more information about the project, contact Francis Macatulad, ASSIST Director of Projects and Strategy at [email protected].