DA, DILG partner for solar-powered water systems in remote barangays

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will collaborate for the establishment of solar-powered water systems in remote off-grid barangays.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the two agencies would ink an agreement for the implementation of the solar-powered rural water supply program which will provide irrigation for vegetables and high-value crops and potable drinking water for people living in remote off-grid villages in the country.

Piñol and DILG Secretary Eduardo Año have agreed to jointly undertake the program starting next month, with a prototype to be funded by the DA under its existing solar-powered irrigation system project.

“The program will target remote barangays, especially in the many islands of the country, which do not have power sources and where residents rely on open water sources for drinking,” Piñol said.

“Water will be sourced from water springs or from deep wells to be drilled using modern water drilling equipment,” he said.

About 30 percent of the over 40,000 barangays in the country do not have sources of safe drinking water and as well as for food production activities especially vegetable planting.

Under the agreement, the DILG will identify the barangays, while the DA will construct the system and organize farmers in the villages to be involved in vegetable farming and other income-generating farm activities.

Meanwhile, the island of Sibutu in Tawi-Tawi will be the first fishing community which will have a floating solar farm to power ice-making and cold storage equipment and serve as a fish convergence area.

This after the DA has partnered with SN Aboitiz Power Group (SNAP), the joint venture of SN Power of Norway and Aboitiz Power Corp., for the establishment of solar farms so as to minimize the use of valuable lands.

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