One Meralco Foundation partners with various stakeholders including Meralco’s business centers and sectors, community leaders and local government units in Meralco franchise areas.
Foundation helps over 30,000 families realize their ‘electric dreams’
( - April 27, 2018 - 4:30pm

MANILA, Philippines — One Meralco Foundation, the social development arm of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), reached yet another milestone in making electricity accessible to low income Filipino families.

As of March, the foundation and its partner local government units have already energized 32,500 homes in communities like informal settlement or relocation sites, which don’t have access to electricity.

Launched in 2011, the program targets low income families that are unable to subscribe to electricity services due to financial, technical and documentary impediments. It aims to give them access to electricity and help them maximize the resource to increase their productivity.

The program targets low income families that are unable to subscribe to electricity services due to financial, technical and documentary impediments. Released

This initiative is implemented in partnership with various stakeholders including Meralco’s business centers and sectors, community leaders and local government units in Meralco franchise areas specifically Metro Manila, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and Rizal.

This year, the foundation targets at least 6,000 more families to benefit from the said program.

Encouraging entrepreneurship

The family of housewife Jovy Credo, 41, was among the first to reside in Graceland Subdivision, a relocation site in Brgy. San Francisco, Binan, Laguna.

Back then, their neighborhood did not have access to basic services such as electricity.

It was a big problem for an aspiring entrepreneur who planned of setting up a small tailoring shop in a corner of her home. Her sewing machine was electric, and the only way for her to obtain access to electricity was to subscribe to a “flying connection,” a colloquial term for unauthorized electrical service access.

Unable to apply for their own power connection due to financial and documentary hurdles, residents in communities such as Graceland fall prey to opportunists who offer unauthorized service access for a monthly fee that is way higher than what Meralco usually charges.

This, however, has dire consequences. Substandard copper wires and faulty wiring often lead to electrocution and large-scale fires, leaving families homeless and even resulting in deaths.

Meralco’s franchise area, which covers wide urban centers, is no stranger to this problem, and for seven years now, One Meralco Foundation’s household electrification program has been helping underserved families put an end to it and realize their “electric dreams.”

The foundation provides assistance by way of installing service wires and metering centers; working with Meralco’s business centers and sectors for electrical facilities extension; or partnering with local government units for the issuance of government permits which are required for applying for electrical subscription.

In just a couple of months since the electrification, Credo already felt the more than P1,000 difference in her spending on electricity. Now that she has her own electric meter, she pays only for the amount of electricity her household had actually consumes. This opened up an opportunity for Credo to grow her business.

With just one electric sewing machine in 2015, she now has two units, and also added another profitable service — T-shirt printing — to her list of offerings. This increased her household’s monthly income and allowed her family to enjoy a better, brighter life.

Helping make communities peaceful

One of the biggest challenges facing community leaders of the Kasiglahan Creekside Association in Rodriguez, Rizal then was peace and order. Due to land ownership issues and its remote location from the nearest electric facility, the community did not have access to electricity until 2015 when Meralco and One Meralco Foundation stepped in.

“Sobrang hirap talaga noon kasi medyo madilim kaya mataas ang crime rate dito sa lugar namin at yung ibang mga kabataan nakakagawa ng mga kalokohan dahil walang ilaw (Back then, the crime rate was high and our teens get involved in illicit activities because the entire community was dark),” recalled KACSA president Ana Fe Bayogbog.

“Malaki na ang pinagbago ng aming lugar mula nang magkaroon kami ng kuryente. Nagkaroon kasi kami ng kasunduan na lahat ng mga nakatira sa tabi ng kalye ay maglalagay ng ilaw sa labas ng mga bahay nila para magsilbing streetlight. Mula noon ay nabawasan na ang insidente ng krimen at ilegal na droga dito sa amin (So much has changed since the electrification of our community. We made an agreement that all residents living along roads should install a light to illuminate the streets at night. Since then the incidence of crime in the area has gone down),” she shared.

“Sobrang mahalaga ang kuryente sa panahon natin ngayon dahil, tulad sa kalagayan namin, naging malaki ang papel nito upang mas maging ligtas ang aming pamumuhay (Electricity is very important these days. In our case, it played a big role in making our community safe and peaceful),” Bayogbog added.

Besides households in the Meralco franchise area, One Meralco Foundation’s household electrification program also energized 257 houses in the MVP Village built for Typhoon Pablo victims in Cateel, Davao Oriental.

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